After taking an early two-goal lead Saturday, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks looked as though they may go on to celebrate their sixth consecutive victory; but instead, 60 minutes later, the squad was in a group hug fighting off tears after a humbling defeat.
The Hawks dropped their first match of the year 4-2 to the Stanwood Spartans in a Wesco League game played at Stanwood High School.
Terrace was ahead 2-0 just 10 minutes into the match after a pair of goals by junior Isabel Kembel, but the game turned midway through the first half when Hawk goalkeeper Madi Sadler had to be assisted off the field and taken for medical care after being kicked in the head when making a save.
The Spartans took advantage of the goalkeeper change and a Terrace team already shorthanded due to the absence of co-captain Sammy Ruiz, scored four unanswered goals, and sent the Hawks home with their first loss of the year.
Terrace coach Alvin Little took the blame for the defeat. “The game was 100-percent my fault,” he said. “I coached a poor game and my girls paid for my ineptitude.”
With a depleted bench, Little had few options to make defensive changes in the match. “I made no adjustments and left my girls hanging,” he said.
Little stressed that his squad never gave up despite the difficult situation they were in without two of their top players. “Those girls played hard and left it on the pitch,” he said.
The Spartans were led by senior Bailey Post with two scores in the match: Junior Espy Sanchez and senior Bethany VanSant each added a goal for Stanwood.
Following the game Little told his Hawks that suffering a loss after five straight wins was no reason to feel down. He also recommitted to the team a pledge to put his best effort forward.
“I see in front of me the best girls any coach could want, let alone a rookie coach,” Little said to his team in the post-match huddle. “I will make sure we are put in the best position possible to win games … nothing but love and thanks from this coach.”
The Hawks look to return to their early season success this week with two home matches at Lynnwood High School: on Tuesday, Sept. 20, against Shorewood and on Thursday, Sept. 22, versus Marysville-Getchell.
Prep Girls Soccer: Mountlake Terrace at Stanwood, Sept. 17
Terrace 2 0 — 2
Stanwood 1 3 — 4
Goal scorers: Isabell Kembel 2 (Mountlake Terrace), Bailey Post 2 (Stanwood), Espy Sanchez (Stanwood), Bethany VanSant (Stanwood)
Assists: Tatiumn Simbulan (Mountlake Terrace), Bailey Post (Stanwood), Espy Sanchez (Stanwood), Bethany VanSant (Stanwood), Jaelynn Walker (Stanwood)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 1-1-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-1-0; Stanwood 2-0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 4-1-0 overall
Mountlake Terrace next match: versus Shorewood, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. at Lynnwood High School