Issaquah and Puyallup were both looked at as state title contenders in the girls soccer playoffs coming into their first round matchup.
Fittingly, it took penalty kicks to decide the game as Issaquah came away in a the shootout 3-2.
The Eagles goalkeeper, Chloe Lang, made two stops in the shootout to propel No. 3 Issaquah past the fourth-ranked Vikings in the first round of the 4A state playoffs on Wednesday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup to end the unbeaten Vikings’ season.
“If you were looking for an exciting game, this was an exciting game to watch,” Puyallup head coach Matt White said. “We played a great game. We rotated through our bench, lots of people played and everybody played well.”
It looked as though Issaquah was going to win the game in regulation with a 1-0 lead heading into stoppage time of the second half.
Issaquah finally put the first point on the board in the 78th minute. Catey Nelson found the back of the net with a header off a cross from the right side of the box.
But Puyallup wasn’t finished. Sunny Bieber found Hallie Johnson in the box for a last-minute goal off a free kick, and Puyallup kept its hopes of winning a state tournament match for the first time in its third consecutive trip to state. Its last state victory had come in 2012.
The two teams battled back and forth in overtime, but neither was able to score.
Issaquah had the best opportunity on a corner kick. Logan Swim took a near perfect shot that was destined for the back of the net, but Puyallup goalkeeper Brooke Johnston dove in at the last second to make a clutch save.
But after beating Kennedy Catholic in a shootout for the No. 1 seed from the 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict playoffs to state, Puyallup wasn’t able to fare as well in this shootout, as a 4A KingCo team ended Puyallup’s state run for the third time in its past four state appearances.
The first half of the game was mostly uneventful. Issaquah outshot Puyallup, 5-2, but only one of their shots were on goal.
Issaquah had their best opportunity to score in the first half on a corner kick in the 14th minute.
Puyallup goalkeeper, Brooke Johnston, punched the ball away from the front of the net, but Issaquah retained possession. The Eagles fired another shot toward Johnston from just outside the box, but she was able to catch it.
There was a bit of controversy at the beginning of the second half as it appeared Puyallup’s Bieber had scored on a free kick in the 44th minute, but the referee ruled that Puyallup had pushed the keeper forward.
“It’s disappointing that we scored two goals in regulation and the ref decides to call it back,” White said.
The loss was Puyallup’s first of the season. It finished with a record of 14-1-4.
Issaquah (17-2-0) moves on to the state quarterfinals to face Jackson (16-2-0).
“Year in, year out, we’re tough,” White said. “This is our third league championship in a row even with the reorganization bringing the Narrows schools in. We keep doing things right, we’ll just see if we can get a little bit further next time.”
Goals: Issaquah – Catey Nelson (78’); Puyallup – Hallie Johnson (80’)