Maybe this is the year. There’s a few banners hanging in the Steilacoom High School gymnasium, but none for girls soccer.
Except the Sentinels are undefeated this season, tearing through the 2A South Puget Sound League in the Sound division. They’ve outscored their league opponents 43-2 and are 11-0-0 since opening the season with a nonleague loss to Olympic.
“We have been walking around the school on cloud nine at times,” Steilacoom coach Taylor Pickett said. “This is uncharted territory for us.”
And maybe, just maybe, they can get that elusive banner this year.
It can take a big step toward clinching a division title if it can beat Orting (9-2-2; 9-1-1) for the second time when they play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Orting. The Cardinals are one of just two schools in the eight-school division that have scored against Steilacoom.
“I’m hoping we can get a banner for a division title,” said Pickett, who in his third year has matched the school’s best season win total from the past six seasons. “Maybe I’ll have to buy lunch for our AD (athletic director).”
Fife (12-0-0; 11-0-0) and White River (9-1-2; 8-1-1) also play at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the top spot in the 2A SPSL Mountain division.
But more on that Steilacoom defense:
One of the reasons it has been so tough is because of senior captain Lauren Canning. She has been mostly healthy her senior year after missing each of the past two seasons with a dislocated shoulder and knee issues, Pickett said.
And when the Sentinels lost two of their three starting midfielders from last year’s state tournament team, a healthy Canning was a much-needed addition.
“Having her come in and her level of skill and her calmness on the ball and willingness to make a tackle – she has been a huge difference,” Picket said.
And with this defense, Steilacoom hasn’t needed much offense.
Orting led 1-0 when the two teams met on Sept. 22. Then Megan Todaro tied it up in the 58th minute before Sophie Crawford netted the game-winner in the 79th.
Todaro has a team-high 11 goals, including a hat trick in a win over Clover Park.
“The scary thing about her is she keeps learning and keeps getting better,” Pickett said of Todaro. “She has a lot of natural ability and each game she gets a little more deadly and a little more dangerous in the box.”
Tatyana Johnson is second on the team with nine goals, followed by Canning with five.
Last year’s team reached the 2A state tournament for the first time in six years – but like those other four Steilacoom state teams, none did enough to get a banner on the gym wall.
There’s a reason – those things are earned, not given.
“That’s one of the more depressing things in our gymnasium,” Pickett said. “Hopefully we will fix that this year.”
The Bethel School District will induct its inaugural hall of fame class at noon on Nov. 5, at the Pierce County Skills Center.
Former Seattle Mariners third baseman Mike Blowers, a Bethel High School graduate, will act as the luncheon speaker and an inductee.
He will be joined by the 1955 Bethel football team, 2001 Spanaway Lake wrestling team, 1970 Bethel boys basketball team, Sonny Beagle, Art Crate, Bob Finchem, Paul Greesley, Larry Ladowski, Herb Jones Mike Matheny, Mike Macdonald, Susie Morehart, Bob Niehl and Ed Niehl.
For ticket information, go to bethelhalloffame.com.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677