After six appearances in high school state championship tournaments during a nine-year span starting in 1983 — and bringing home the 3A state title in 1987 and 1988 — the girls soccer program at Mountlake Terrace High School has been up and down since. But mostly down — there have been no Lady Hawk squads to reach the state soccer tourney since 1991.
Those years of state tourney futility have come to an end as the 2022 Hawks are heading to this year’s 3A state tournament after a 1-0 victory over the Oak Harbor Wildcats in a District 1 3A Girls Soccer Tournament game played Thursday at Shoreline Stadium.
Junior Natalie Cardin scored the winning goal for the Hawks in the 74th minute after a scramble for the ball inside Oak Harbor’s 18-yard box. Cardin, while being sandwiched by a pair of Wildcats, got just enough of the ball to loft it slowly toward the goal where it bounced in before anyone could stop it.
“Big goal by Natalie; a slop goal but we’ll take it,” said Terrace Coach George Dremousis.
The goal broke the deadlocked winner-to-state match that included plenty of wind, rain and opportunities for both sides to score. Oak Harbor goalkeeper Lauren Marrs was forced into making five saves in the match while Terrace’s net-minder, Sierra Sonko, had to stop six Wildcat shots.
Sonko’s best efforts in goal came during the final two minutes of the first half. The Hawk senior made a diving save in the 39th minute after Oak Harbor’s Addisen Boyer broke free and unleashed a low shot from just 10 yards out. Just a minute later, the Wildcats’ Carly VanGiesen lobbed a 28-yard shot that Sonko coaxed over the crossbar.
Keeping the game scoreless at the half helped lead to Cardin’s heroics late in the match.
Terrace had to play Thursday’s game with a depleted roster; juniors Laura Rice and Natalie Streuli missed the match due to injury while starting defensive back Chloe Parker was out due to sickness.
Dremousis was pleased with how his squad persevered despite the absence of key players.
“The odds (were) against us, there were so many players out tonight,” Dremousis said. “Every girl stepped up. We were playing freshmen that hadn’t played all season, just trying to piecemeal it together and hold on. What a huge game.”
The Hawks will have some time to heal up before the 20-team state tournament begins next week. With the time off, the team hopes to be closer to full strength for their first state tourney game that will likely be played on either Nov. 8 or 9.
Prior to the start of the season, the Terrace squad set a number of team goals, including qualifying for the WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament. With Thursday’s win and the get-to-state goal realized, the team was in a celebratory mood after the game.
“It feels amazing,” said sophomore Ally Villalobos Van Slooten. “This is my second year here and I’m so excited to be going to state for the first time. It feels really good.”
The 3A state championship bracket won’t be finalized until Sunday, Nov. 6, but Van Slooten is already thinking ahead to matching up against the other state qualifiers. “I feel like it’s going to be a hard challenge but I feel as a group, as a team, we connect really well together and I hope we can make it far,” she said.
Dremousis now has the distinction of taking both the Terrace boys soccer program and now a Hawk girls squad to state championship tourneys. Dremousis led the Hawk boys to state tournament play in 2016, 2017 and 2019; the 2017 boys squad earned the 2A fourth-place trophy.
Could his 2022 Lady Hawks have similar success? “Anything can happen,” Dremousis stated. “You win three games and you’re bringing home some hardware.”
Going into the single-elimination state tournament, Dremousis boasted about how he felt about his squad: “I couldn’t be more excited and happy for them,” he said after Thursday’s victory.
To view the entire District 1 3A Girls Soccer Tournament bracket, click www.wescoathletics.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=3686; to view the WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament bracket, click www.wpanetwork.com/wiaa/brackets/tournament.php?act=view&tournament_id=3671.
Prep Girls Soccer: Oak Harbor vs. Mountlake Terrace, Nov. 3 (District 1 3A Girls Soccer Tournament winner-to-state game)
Oak Harbor 0 0 – 0
Terrace 0 1 – 1
Goal scorer: Natalie Cardin (Mountlake Terrace) 74th minute
Saves: Sierra Sonko (Mountlake Terrace) 6
Lauren Marrs (Oak Harbor) 5
Corner kicks: Mountlake Terrace 4
Oak Harbor 5
Yellow cards: none
Records: Mountlake Terrace 2-1 in District 1 3A tournament, 11-3-4 overall; Oak Harbor 1-2 in District 1 3A tournament; 8-5-1 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus team to bedetermined; date, time and site to be announced (WIAA 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament game)
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski