EAST BREMERTON — The Eagles had a difficult time containing Overlake’s speed in the 1A state quarterfinals match on Saturday night at Silverdale Stadium, but they survived regulation and won on penalty kicks to advance to the final four.
Kylie Woodrum, Alyssa Peters, Kayden Eckley and Rylee Radford all converted their penalty kicks, and Maria Mist made two big saves in net. Klahowya won the shootout 4-3 and the match 2-1.
The Eagles will play King’s Way Christian at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium. They are guaranteed a place in the top four and will have a match the next day, win or lose, but a victory gives Klahowya the chance to play for the third state championship in program history and first since 2014.
But first they had to get past the Owls, and that would prove arduous. Overlake dominated possession for much of the first half and Klahowya had a tough time generating any sort of attack.
“They gave us a lot of pressure,” head coach Troy Oelschlager said. Their early pressure flustered us and we never really recovered.”
Some of Klahowya’s best offensive players found very little room with which to work. The Owls did a good job keeping the Eagles out of the middle and rarely gave them space to link up passes with speed. Peters was eventually moved to forward after being kept quiet in the midfield and had a bit more success thereafter.
“They always had people on me,” Peters said. “They played with two in the middle and it kind of put me out of the game. I couldn’t do anything.”
Hope Martin managed to give Klahowya a lead late in the first half. She took a long pass from the midfield and slid a shot from about 20-yards out toward the far post. The Overlake keeper was caught off her line and when she went to make a play on the shot, her foot slipped and the ball rolled slowly into the net.
“That settled us down a little bit,” Oelschlager said. “It looked like we started possessing a bit more after that.”
Overlake answered in the 49th minute when Sophia Beacher scored a beautiful header on a corner kick. But the Eagles, despite never controlling the run of play, were able to get the match to a shootout.
Mist stopped the first two Overlake shooters, guessing correctly and diving to her right to make the saves. After a miss in the first round, Klahowya hit four consecutive kicks to win it.
“It might help us going forward, if we ever get into that situation again,” Oelschlager said. “I think we’ve got a competent keeper, and we had the right five taking the kicks.”
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.