King’s tops Cascade to win first Class 1A state girls soccer title

Originally published November 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm Updated November 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm

King’s win shootout 7-6 in a rematch of its first game of the season.

By David Krueger

Special to The Seattle Times

The King’s girls soccer team started and finished its season with games against Cascadof Leavenworth.

The first didn’t go great for King’s, which lost 5-2. The second resulted in the program’s first state girls soccer title.

King’s avenged a season-opening loss to the Kodiaks with a victory in a hard-fought Class 1A state title game, which the Knights clinched with a 7-6 advantage in a shootout Saturday afternoon at Shoreline Stadium.

“I was happy to see them again here to show them that we’ve come a long way since that first time,” King’s coach Nicole Gabelein said. “ … I was expecting this kind of a game if we were to see them.” 

The game remained scoreless until the 63rd minute when senior Ashley Parton sprinted past one King’s defender and dribbled around another before getting off a shot to put Cascade ahead.

Parton netted all three goals the Kodiaks scored in the semifinal and championship games at Shoreline Stadium.

But the Kodiaks’ lead was short-lived. King’s (15-8) forward Katie Stella, one of three seniors for a Knights team that has finished in the top three the past six seasons, netted the equalizer eight minutes later and the two teams played to a 1-1 tie through the end of regulation and two five-minute overtime periods.

“I feel like I don’t even remember (what happened),” Stella said of her goal. “I was just kind of in the zone, no thoughts in my mind. I just saw the ball get flicked over and I just saw my foot go and kick it.”

The shootout proved to be just as tough. Freshman Annie Rasmussen put the game away for King’s after a save by Knights goalkeeper Grace Roberts on the attempt before.

Battling back from a deficit was nothing new for a King’s team that, on several occasions this year, needed late scoring barrages to clinch a come-from-behind win.

“Honestly, I was thinking we’re going to come back and win. I was not even worried,” Gabelein said. “We call them the cardiac team. They’ll be down 2-0 and there’s eight minutes left in the game and we’ve won those games.

“I don’t like being down. They’ve given my heart a workout all season long. They’ve prepared me for this.”

It was the first loss of the season for Cascade (20-1-1), which finished its season at the state tournament for the seventh consecutive year.

Stella believes the young Knights squad was a completely different group than the one that faced the Kodiaks in September.

“Coming into this season we lost, I think, eight starters from last year,” Stella said. “Playing in our first game against Cascade we had no idea what our team was going to look like.”

The game was a rematch of last year’s third/fourth-place game, which saw King’s win 2-0. The Knights have been to 10 of the last 11 state tournaments.

“I can’t even explain it. We’ve worked so hard for this,” Stella said. “I’m happy we finally got it.”