EAST BREMERTON — Izzy Severns has never been one to back away from a challenge on the field, and now she’s getting ready for one off the field.
Severns, a star soccer player at Klahowya, graduated from Central Washington University in June, where she played Division II soccer for the Wildcats.
Her next goal? A master’s degree from Gonzaga in communications and leadership.
It makes perfect sense, of course. Severns was one of the many stars that graced Klahowya’s soccer roster during its 2014 run to the 1A state championship. And she was never one to shy away from the big moment.
After scoring 21 goals during the regular season that year, Severns stepped up to score the biggest one of all. She picked up the title-winning tally in a 1-0 victory over King’s to give the Eagles the second state championship in program history.
“Klahowya was pretty competitive,” Severns said. “So we always played at a higher level with [McKenzie] Cook and [Emily] Peters up top, we’ve always been really competitive.”
So it’s no surprise that she went off to Central Washington ready to compete at a high level with similarly-skilled players from all over the northwest and beyond. A faster pace of play combined with a more intense atmosphere meant there were no days off and no easy matches.
“Finesse, those simple touches,” Severns said. “You make a mistake and you’re going to pay.”
The Wildcats’ best season came during Severns’s sophomore year, when they went 14-6-1 and reached the NCAA postseason.
The Ellensburg program was noted for its flexibility in being able to move players around on the field and in and out of the lineup. It also featured another former Klahowya star in Jessica Haga.
“I went to college to compete,” Severns said. “I went to college to find my way and find my spot, and us Wildcats were always a team whether we were starting or weren’t starting. That was never a burden for anyone.”
Following her graduation this summer, Severns got to reunite with her former teammates Peters and Haga on the Oly-Pen Force, where she also joined up with other contemporaries from her high school days, such as Emily Wilkins and Hailey Parker from South Kitsap.
They helped revitalize a Force team that had gotten off to a slow start in the Northwest Premier League, though the team ultimately was unable to qualify for the playoffs. In an 8-0 win over Black Hills FC, Severns scored two goals and dished out three assists and Parker scored a hat trick.
“These girls are amazing, they’re all competitive, I’m competitive, and that’s what we’re here for.”
That competitive spirit will serve her well going forward, whether she’s on the pitch, playing rec softball or in the classroom.