Stadium’s Mackenzie Burks, Alexis Lamb, Katherine Nelson discuss state quarterfinal win over Prairie
For the first time since 2004, Stadium’s girls soccer team is in the state semifinals.
Alexis Lamb scored two goals and Katherine Nelson recorded a shutout as the Tigers (18-0) routed the Prairie Falcons 4-0 on Friday night at the Stadium Bowl.
They’ll face either Bellevue or Seattle Prep at 4 p.m. on Friday at Sparks Stadium in the 3A state semifinals.
“The first half we were absorbing a lot of pressure. We weren’t connecting a lot of passes. We were dropping off and inviting them into our end.” Stadium coach Adam Becker said. “I moved a couple of players around and then we came out and took them the game finally (in the second half).”
Despite struggling to find their rhythm in the first half, the Tigers capitalized first when Mackenzie Burks corralled a bouncing ball in the middle of the box and flicked a pass to Alexis Lamb who touched it past the Prairie goaltender 18 minutes in to the game.
“The first one really shocked me, I really thought it didn’t go in,” Lamb said. “But then I saw that it went in. That was a great moment for me.”
Seven minutes later Stadium struck again when Burks crossed the ball to Ella Nadeau who headed it in.
Falcons defender Savannah Harshbarger suffered a neck injury on a collision which caused a delay during the first half. It was a blow for Prairie who controlled the ball and generated several chances early in the game.
Burks, who tallied 23 goals during the regular season and is the 3A Pierce County League MVP, opened the scoring for the Tigers eight minutes into the second half on a beautiful corner kick that bent just inside the near post.
The Falcons looked stunned and never found a way to recover.
A minute later Lamb found the back of the net again on a corner kick by Kiara Rivera to put the game out of reach.
Nelson made several big saves as time wound down to preserve her shutout, but the game was never really in doubt after Lamb’s second goal put Stadium up 4-0.
“It was really stressful but my defense was doing a great job making it as easy as possible,” Nelson said. “I was just determined to go without a goal. We haven’t gone to state in a really long time so being at least fourth is really huge for us. We plan on taking the whole thing.”
For Prairie it was a disappointing way to end a strong season.
“We ran up against a very good Stadium team,” said Falcons coach Michael Thyron. “They deserved to win. They moved the ball well.”