SHORELINE, Wash. – In the end, the continuous pressure finally led to a small mistake. Caitlin MacFarlane was spectacular in the goal for most of East Valley’s State 2A semifinal soccer showdown with Cedarcrest, from Duvall.
But after making difficult saves before, and after, MacFarlane had a free kick slip through her arms in the 60th minute. Cedarcrest’s Gwen Beck was there to ram it into the net and the Red Wolves went on to record a 2-0 victory and advance to today’s 4 p.m. championship game.
Cedarcrest will face Interlake of Bellevue for the title. East Valley plays Archbishop Murphy for third at noon.
“I expect to be here,” East Valley coach Gabe Escobar said. “We started to produce after halftime.”
Still, the Knights (15-7) got only one actual shot on goal. That came 5 minutes into the second half when Amanda Bliesner made a nifty move and got into the penalty area just outside the left post. She let go a line-drive shot to the short corner, but Cedarcrest keeper Nichole Pearson was there for the save.
Pearson grabbed it, but fell out of bounds for a Knights corner kick. East Valley couldn’t get a second clean look, however.
Virtually the rest of the game was played in the East Valley end. Cedarcrest put 15 shots on frame to the Knights’ one. Yet MacFarlane kept her team in it for 60 minutes.
“She was amazing,” Escobar said. “She was lights out.”
MacFarlane was everywhere the Knights needed her to be throughout the first half.
Over the first 40 minutes, Cedarcrest was credited with eight shots on goal. East Valley didn’t get a clean look, much less a shot, until Bliesner’s in the 45th minute.
So, for an entire half the Knights’ defense scrambled. And MacFarlane proved the anchor keeping this one even.
The senior made four tough saves, including two on which she had to throw her gloved hands out in front to stop bullets. The pressure from the Red Wolves kept coming.
“I expected that,” Escobar said. “But I also expected our defense to do what it did. To hold strong. Even the first one they got, it just slipped through her hands.”
The second goal came in the 72nd minute, and there was nothing skimpy about it. Karli White made a singular run down the right side for Cedarcrest and let fly with a hard shot.
MacFarlane again made the save, but the ball bounded hard away from her. Tanya Zakrajsek was coming in from the left post and hit a solid drive for the insurance goal.
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