Sumner High’s Kaylie Rozell might seem quiet and shy at first, but once she’s on the soccer field it’s a whole different story.
The senior turns into a locomotive.
And that engine has gathered a lot of steam, helping power the South Puget Sound League 2A champion Spartans to an undefeated (18-0) season. Sumner is ranked No. 1 in the state and just upended two-time champion Archbishop Murphy, 1-0, to reach the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
Sumner meets Squalicum of Bellingham at Shoreline Stadium in North Seattle at 6 p.m. today. Sehome and West Valley of Yakima play in the other semifinal match.
With Gonzaga-bound Sarah Carter at sweeper and Jessica Lange in goal, the Spartans are stout defensively. Rozell not only gives them scoring punch up front, but she lends a little spunk as well.
“People think she’s got this attitude, that she’s cocky,” Sumner coach Robi Turley said. “She just doesn’t like to get beat.”
Rozell, with a team-high 33 goals this season, has made a habit of leading Sumner to victories. In her three seasons with the team, the Spartans have a record of 51-5.
Although she did not score in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over the Wildcats, Rozell made a heads-up play in the corner, daring a defender to try and steal the ball. The opponent took the bait and knocked the ball out of bounds, setting up Sumner’s winning goal off a corner kick.
“She’s super competitive, even with her teammates, and that makes them better,” Turley said. “Any coach would love to have a player like her. She will accept any challenge you throw at her.”
And that fiery personality comes out in different ways – from the way she runs up and down the field, to how physical she is going for loose balls. Even the way she interacts with referees has an edge.
“I can see why people would think that,” said Rozell of her perceived overconfidence. “But I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.”
A native of New Mexico, Rozell and her family moved to Washington in the middle of her freshman year when her mother got a job in the area. The family had to decide on a school for the teenager to attend – Sumner or Bonney Lake.
“I picked Sumner because I felt like it’s more involved in the community,” Rozell said. “And I like the small-town feeling.”
Rozell immediately joined Washington Premier FC, an area club program where she played with a couple of girls on the Sumner soccer team. When it came time for fall practice her sophomore season, her friendships with those players helped ease her transition into high school.
“I was able to hang out with them at first,” Rozell said. “Then I started making more friends.”
Rozell has been the team’s leading scorer in each of her three seasons, and she has scored a school-record 71 career goals.
“Every game she’s being double-teamed at least,” Turley said. “So she has to be competitive, and do what she does best: score goals.”
Goals are great, but to be on the verge of a state title is even better.
“It’s really exciting because no (team in school history) ever made it this far,” Rozell said. “It’s fun to experience it with this group of girls.”
CLASS 3A, 4A GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Today-Saturday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup
3A schedule: Today – Columbia River (18-0) vs. Liberty (14-3), 2 p.m.; Holy Names (15-5) vs. Mount Spokane (19-0), 4 p.m. Saturday – Third-place match is at 10 a.m.; title match is at 2 p.m.
4A schedule: Today – Skyline (15-1) vs. Tahoma (20-0), 6 p.m.; Issaquah (18-2) vs. Camas (17-3), 8 p.m. Saturday – Third-place match is at noon; title match is at 4 p.m.
Tickets: $9 for adults, $7 for children/senior citizens for daily passes; $15 for adults, $10 for children/senior citizens for tournament passes.
CLASS 3A TEAM CAPSULES
Columbia River Chieftains
Coach: Filomon Afenegus, first year
Top players: MF Charlene Burger, jr.; GK Haley Case, sr.; D Ana Delgadillo, jr.; MF Maddie Reynolds, jr.
The skinny: The Columbia River seniors were part of the group that won the 3A state championship in 2009. The team lost to Liberty, 1-0, in the first round of last year’s state tournament.
Coach: Tami Nguyen, first year
Top players: MF Kiana Hafferty, sr.; F Kailiana Johnson, sr.; F Kali Youngdahl, jr.
The skinny: The 3A runners-up have their fourth coach in four years in Nguyen, formerly Tami Bennett, who once was the state’s career scoring leader with 152 goals at Seattle Christian. The Patriots are offensive-minded.
Holy Names Cougars
Coach: Teddy Mitalas, fifth year
Top players: GK Kayla Baskett, sr.; F Katie Chandler, sr.; D Angela Fischer, sr.; F Annie Flora, fr.
The skinny: Recovering from early illness and injuries, Holy Names made a late run to the Metro League title – and its first 3A semifinal appearance since 2007. The Cougars are also the state academic champions (3.77 GPA).
Mount Spokane Wildcats
Coach: Ryan Campenalla, eighth year
Top players: MF Alyssa Lloyd, jr.; F Katie Nilsson, jr.; F Riley Richardson, sr.
The skinny: Despite not placing in four state appearances over the past five seasons (won first-round games in 2007, 2011), many consider this the school’s best team. The GSL champions are ranked No. 2 in the state.
CLASS 4A TEAM CAPSULES
Coach: Don Braman, ninth year
Top players: F Rachel Shim, sr.; D Lianna Simms, sr.; F Anna DeWeirdt, sr.
The skinny: Guess what – the winners of three of the past four 4A titles return to Pierce County. Yet, are they unbeatable? They had their 37-match winning streak snapped earlier by Redmond, but Skyline is balanced and still very good.
Coach: Jason Johnson, fourth year
Top players: F Kaysha Darcy, sr.; F Mackenzie Henke, sr.; MF Brie Hooks, sr.; F Tori Tappero, jr.
The skinny: The SPSL champions are ranked No. 1 in the state (seventh nationally), and not only have Hooks – The News Tribune’s All-Area MVP – as a distributor, Darcy, Henke and Tappero are big and powerful up front.
Coach: Tom Bunnell, ninth year
Top players: D Casey Kovarik, sr.; MF Audrey Thomas, sr.; F Rachel Wheeler, jr.
The skinny: Quietly, Issaquah flies under the radar – even with its three 3A titles (2004, 2006-07) in tow. Top to bottom, the Eagles might be the most complete team remaining. They finished as the 4A runner-up in 2009.
Coach: Roland Minder, seventh year
Top players: MF Jamie Carter, sr.; D Carly Marshall, jr.; GK Laureen Rood, fr.
The skinny: A perennial state participant, this has been one remarkable journey for the Papermakers. They lost five starters over the course of the season, yet find themselves back in the semifinals. They won the 3A title in 2005.Leah Traxel: 253-597-8680 email@example.com blogs.thenewstribune.com/preps firstname.lastname@example.org