Mt. Spokane girls win away from title
It’s mission accomplished for the Mt. Spokane girls soccer team, but there’s time, motivation and talent for just one more.
The Wildcats are 19-0 and winners of everything they set out to accomplish this season: Greater Spokane League, district and regional titles, plus a trip to the final four.
And a State 3A title? Why not?
There’s no pressure, coach Ryan Campanella said, apart from what the players have put on themselves.
“I think the girls have responded really well to these pressure situations,” said Campanella, whose team faces Holy Names Academy in a semifinal Friday at 4 p.m. at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Wash.
“They haven’t allowed themselves to get to get caught up in the stat books,” Campanella said.
Those stats are worth getting caught up in. Of the Wildcats’ 19 wins, all but three are by two goals or more. They’ve given up just 10 goals all year, and conceded only three in the past 11 matches.
Those numbers start at the back, where junior goalkeeper Shannon McReynolds has benefited from a lockdown defense, but also made some critical stops.
“She’s come up with some big ones,” said Campanella, whose team also has 10 shutouts this season. “She’s so physical as an athlete and doesn’t shy away from the one-on-ones, and she’s shut down some very good GSL forwards.”
That included a last-minute breakaway by Enumclaw in a first-round state playoff game last week, when McReynolds came out of the box and forced a high shot to preserve a 2-1 win. Four days later, the Wildcats earned another shutout, 4-0 over Kamiakin, to reach the final four.
McReynolds has 86 saves on the season.
At the other end of the field, eight different players have scored at least five goals. Forwards Riley Richardson and Madison Boyd lead the way with 14 and 12, respectively. Midfielder Alyssa Lloyd has 10 goals and as many assists.
Campanella points to senior midfielder Sydney Nelson as an example of the team’s “nose-to-the-grindstone” mentality that’s paid off all year. Nelson has “taken on different roles,” Campanella said, moving up to the central midfield while also taking corner kicks, eight of which ended in the net.
Campanella said he believes Mt. Spokane “matches up pretty well” with Holy Names, a private school in Seattle.
“They have very few weakness, but if we focus on what we do, we have enough talent to win,” Campanella said.
The winner will face either Liberty of Issaquah or Columbia River of Vancouver in the title game at 7 p.m. Saturday, also in Puyallup.
Two Spokane teams are in the semfinals, which kick off today in Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Wash. Northwest Christian takes on Mount Vernon Christian at 6 p.m. followed by St. George’s going against Providence Classical Academy at 8. The winners play Saturday at 4.