High School Sports

Curtis girls avenge earlier soccer loss to Puyallup

It was as if Hercules showed up in a pink headband.

There was Morgan Weaver, the ultra-talented playmaker at Curtis High School — and 2013 News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year. She was everywhere.

And doing everything in making sure her defending SPSL South championship squad would not go down quietly.

Weaver had a goal, assist and a bullet of a shot in the 75th minute off the hands of Puyallup goalkeeper Maddy Wheless. Camped in front of the goal, the ball came right to Sariah Keister, and she tapped it in for the game-winner as Curtis shocked favored Puyallup, 3-2, on Tuesday night in University Place.

With a little more than a week remaining in the regular season, Curtis (12-2-1, 10-1 SPSL South) has a half-game lead over Puyallup (11-2-1, 9-1). Both teams have Graham-Kapowsin still on the schedule, and Puyallup also plays Rogers.

If both teams win out, the schools will share the divisional title — and the No. 1 seed to the District 3 playoffs would be determined by a tiebreaker.

Little of that mattered after the match as the Curtis players tossed around a pillow in the locker room. It went to the team’s most valuable player, determined by the co-captains.

Weaver did not receive that nod. She was just as satisfied sharing a big win like this with all of her teammates.

“We played more as a team,” Weaver said. “Before (the match), we were all pumped and ready to go, giving each other inspirational speeches.”

Puyallup took a 1-0 lead on Sunny Bieber’s 30-yard blast in the 28th minute. But Weaver tied it at 1-1 three minutes later with her own goal from long range — her 14th of the season.

Puyallup regained the lead, 2-1, on its first shot of the second half — a nifty, looping pass to Saige Lyons, who dribbled inside the penalty box and punched in the goal in the 46th minute.

Again, it was Weaver who came through. Her 20-yard shot from the right side hit off Wheless’ hands, and trickled right back to her. She nudged a pass to teammate Brooke Weber, who’s liner from the same spot tied the score in the 63rd minute.

“(Weaver) is a great player,” Puyallup coach Matt White said. “We owned them on possessions and shots (on goal) ... but she can just change the game on one play.”

And she did it one final time.

With the ball on the right side again, Weaver laced a shot that Wheless lunged for and tapped away. Keister was right there waiting.

“I was like, ‘Open goal, take a shot,’ ” said Keister, who played at Lakes in 2013. “Pretty easy.”

In the final minute, when Keister laid on the turf, injured, it was Weaver who ran over and gave her a piggyback ride to the sideline. Just a full night’s work for the Curtis junior.

“Fun game,” Curtis coach Frank Hankel said. “When I look at it, it was a team effort ... but (Weaver) is fantastic, there is no question about it. Three or four girls were marking her, and because so much focus was on her, the other girls stepped up tonight.”