Central Valley captures state soccer title
Jessie Kunz-Pfeiffer was diving left no matter what.
She guessed correctly.
Central Valley’s senior goal keeper closed out her high school career with her biggest save yet, batting away Issaquah’s final penalty-kick attempt to help the Bears beat the Eagles 3-2 and capture the State 4A girls soccer championship Saturday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“I don’t know what I was thinking. I just knew I was going left,” said Kunz-Pfeiffer about her final save.
“This is my last game ever playing soccer and to go out like this is just surreal.”
It’s the first state championship for Central Valley. The Bears had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals until this season.
“Everyone giving 100 percent that’s what it took tonight,” CV coach Andres Monrroy, whose squad was eliminated by Issaquah (2-0) in last year’s state quarterfinals. “We knew we needed an incredible effort tonight to win and we got it from everyone.”
Issaquah outshot the Bears, 16-6, through regulation and two 5-minute overtime sessions.
Once it went to the shootout, Central Valley’s confidence soared.
“We’ve won four matches in shootouts this season,” Monrroy said. “We know how to win shootouts.”
Kunz-Pfeiffer blocked two Issaquah attempts, while a third attempt went wide left.
Savannah Hoekstra, who also scored in the 48th minute to tie the contest, and Megan Dimmler were both successful in their attempts before Madison Kinsolving gave the Bears a 3-2 shootout lead.
It was then up to Kunz-Pfeiffer to seal the win.
“My teammates deliver on PKs,” Kunz-Pfeiffer said. “I knew they’d come through. I had to do my part.”
Central Valley advanced to the finals by defeating Mead in a shootout.
Issaquah, which also finished second last season, enjoyed a 2-1 lead late in the second half.
Hailey Spooner found the equalizer in the 78th minute after a Hoekstra header crashed to the turf directly in front of Eagles goal keeper Anna Miller, who was unable to secure the ball after it took a large bounce and sailed over her head.
Spooner was there to punch it in, sending the match to overtime.
“Crash the nets,” Monrroy said. “That’s what we told the girls at halftime and that’s exactly what got us back in the match.”
The Bears had difficulties generating any offensive attack in the first half as they trailed 1-0 during the intermission.
Central Valley managed just one shot in the first half – a shot from Sara Grozdanich which sailed high over the crossbar at the 37th minute – while the Eagles managed eight shots with five on goal.
Issaquah struck first, getting a goal in the 16th minute when Talley’s shot, on a perfectly placed centering pass from Wheeler, bounced off the left post and into the right inside of netting, giving the Eagles the 1-0 lead.
The Bears found success on just their second shot with Kinsolving assisting on Hoekstra’s goal in the 49th minute to knot the match at 1.
Olympia 1, Mead 0: The Panthers took home the fourth-place trophy, losing their second consecutive shootout following a scoreless match.
Olympia sophomore goalkeeper Sophie Kabel turned away all three Mead penalty-kick attempts during the shootout, while the Bears connected on all three of their shots.
The Panthers (17-5-1) outshot Olympia 16-8, but could never find the back of the net despite holding an 11-0 advantage on shots to open the second half. Mead’s Ashlyn Juul made seven saves.
The Panthers lost to CV 1-0 (5-3 shootout) in the state semifinals on Friday.