Mount Si High School girls soccer calls on familiar face to aid playoff win

Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team opened round one of the Kingco playoffs last night at home in Snoqualmie against the Newport Knights looking to take their first step down what will be a very difficult road to a state playoff berth. Things looked good for the Wildcats throughout the early portion of play, but a tremendous effort by the Newport goalkeeper kept things in check at halftime. But, as has been the case many times this fall, all Mount Si needed to do was call up their “money” player, and she once again delivered to send the Wildcats on to the next round.

Karli White (center), seen here playing the ball during a game earlier this season, scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal for Mount Si High School's girls' soccer team in their playoff win last night over Newport. The goal was her 17th on the season. (Courtesy photo)

Karli White, seen here playing the ball during a game earlier this season, scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal for Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team in their playoff win last night over Newport. The goal was her 17th on the season. (Courtesy photo)

Karli White scored her league-leading 17th goal, and Miranda Fischer added an insurance tally late, as Mount Si blanked the Knights 2-0 to advance to a loser-out matchup against the Woodinville Falcons this coming Monday at Issaquah High School. Wildcat coach Darren Brown was pleased. “We played pretty much to our objective,” Brown said. “We played good out of the back and it took us a while again, like last time, to put them away,” he added, referring to the teams’ previous meeting earlier this month, a 1-0 Mount Si result at Newport High School in Bellevue, and thanks to White, they did just that.

After a number of great scoring chances were set aside by Knight senior goalie Sydney Tomlinson in the first, and early portion of the second, half, many of them in amazing fashion, the Arkansas-bound senior struck gold in the 55th minute. She forced a turnover by the Knights, then turned around and maneuvered her way through the Newport defense towards Tomlinson in the Knights goal. Once in a position to get a good shot attempt off, White took that shot and it sailed in past the Newport keeper and put Mount Si in front to stay.

“I had been wanting to get one all night and I hadn’t been finishing my opportunities, so I was really determined to score that and the opportunity presented itself and I took it,” she said. As a senior, playing what likely was her last official home game on the Mount Si field was special. “I’ll most remember this team especially because the chemistry is so good and we work so well together and this is just a great way to end my (high school) career as a soccer player,” White said.

The game remained 1-0 until very late, thanks largely to continued stellar play by Tomlinson, who, by our unofficial count, made 17 mostly spectacular saves helping to keep her team in it. But, Mount Si’s Fischer finished things off in the 75th minute, taking a feed from Karlie Hurley and popping it over Tomlinson and into the goal for the all-important insurance goal. And to add to the drama, the Wildcats, just minutes prior, narrowly missed scoring a third goal, with the ball being saved just barely by Tomlinson even though it appeared to have perhaps gone in. Referees called it no goal and were not in proper position to determine whether that call was correct, but outside of that, the contest was well-officiated, with very few fouls called and not a lot of physical play between the two sides.

White, Hurley and fellow seniors Claire Johnson and Michaela “KK” Wallace will all be playing ball next fall – at the collegiate level. Hurley is excited to head down to Portland to play for Concordia-Portland as the school transitions from being a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division II as a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. “I love the coach there,” Hurley said. “One of the coolest guys I’ve met. I really like the team chemistry there and I like his style of play and the way he runs things and it’s a really competitive school.” Hurley added, “I think it really matches the way I play, too.”

Wallace will miss this year’s team, too, but not for the reason you might expect. “It’s not just because we’re making it so far, it’s because we have such a close knit group,” the Central Washington-bound player said. “Even if we lose and we go to practice the next day, it’s still fun because we still love each other and we know we can make it the next game.”

Johnson will be headed to Big Sky country to play for the Idaho Vandals. She’s ready. “I’m excited for the change. I’m excited to be independent,” she said.

Brown doesn’t want this year to end yet. “We’ve had so many records this year. It’s been an unbelievable year,” Brown said. “Players have stepped up and it’s just been a great year, so we want to keep it going.” The longtime coach added, “It’s a great group of girls. Nikki (Stanton, assistant coach) and I love working with them.”

Mount Si plays Woodinville this coming Monday at 5:30 at Issaquah High School with the winner moving on to a winner-to-state, loser-out game against the loser of the Eagles-Skyline Monday nightcap league title game Thursday. Brown thinks fans will be in for a treat. “It’s going to be a good game,” he said.

College score
Northwest Nazarene 1, Seattle Pacific men 0: SPU suffered their first loss of the season last night on the road in their conference finale in Nampa, ID, against host NNU. Sophomore defender Davis Karaica, from Snoqualmie and a 2012 Mount Si High School grad, started on defense for the Falcons and played all 90 minutes, with no stats of note to report. SPU is likely headed to the Division II men’s soccer playoffs despite the defeat, so Karaica and his mates still have plenty of soccer left in them we expect this fall.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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