It was a huge win against an archrival; a lopsided triumph that merited a loud, boisterous celebration.
But Lewis and Clark’s girls soccer team kept the postmatch merriment at Hart Field respectfully restrained following Friday afternoon’s 3-0 victory over perennial Greater Spokane League power Mead – and rightfully so.
Because across the field from the team’s benches, Mead freshman midfielder Kylie Drynan was lying on her back, awaiting the arrival of paramedics after taking a hard blow to the back of the head while trying to head a loose ball to one of her teammates.
Drynan’s injury occurred with just a little less than 2 minutes left in the showdown between the Tigers (12-0-1, 7-0 GSL), who were ranked No. 2 in the Seattle Times’ latest State 4A soccer ratings, and the fifth-ranked Panthers (11-1-1, 6-1).
Because those tending to Drynan felt it unsafe to move her from the playing field, the game ended at that point.
Drynan, according to Mead coach Steve Snider, had feeling in her arms and legs but was fitted with a neck brace, strapped to a stretcher and taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for additional evaluation.
LC’s victory came over a Mead team that has won or shared the GSL regular-season title each of the last four years and has won three straight district championships.
Sarah Silha, Sarah Barrentine and Julia Moravec scored goals for the Tigers, who also got another dominant effort from senior goalkeeper Sarah Wood, who made seven saves in posting the shutout.
Moravec leads the league with seven goals.
“You hate to see it end like this,” said LC coach Casey Curtis, nodding across the field toward Drynan. “But this was a huge win for us.
“Mead’s a very good team, and you’ve got to knock the king of the mountain off in order to get there yourself. I felt like if we did what we’ve been doing all year, and we played Tiger soccer, the result would take care of itself.”
Mead had a couple of early scoring chances but was stoned by Wood on each attack.
“It’s frustrating, because we did get some looks that we liked, and you’d like to have done more with those,” Snider said of his Panthers’ missed opportunities. “But you also have to earn it a little bit in the middle of the field, too.
“LC deserved to win. They played really well and put us under some pressure I’m not sure we’ve seen this year. Sometimes we handled it, and sometimes we didn’t.”
The win was especially sweet for Wood, who let a shot roll into and out of her arms for one of the three goals Mead scored in beating the Tigers in last year’s district final.
“That (mistake) gave me a little added motivation – that and the fact that Mead’s always been our main rival,” Wood said. “Looking at the scoreboard and seeing 3-0 feels so good. We haven’t beaten them in … four years.”
• In other GSL action, visiting Gonzaga Prep (9-4, 3-4) got a goal from Katie Kerr, who also played keeper later on and finished with one save, just 7 minutes into its match against North Central (2-9, 2-5) and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory. … Visiting Ferris (6-4-1, 3-4) used a goal that deflected off one of Central Valley’s defenders to edge the Bears (9-3, 4-3) 1-0. CV finished with a 15-6 advantage in shots on goal. … Shadle Park (8-4, 3-4), despite being outshot 20-10, got a pair of goals from Tiara Pajimola to turn back visiting Mt. Spokane (7-5, 3-4) 3-1.