SHORELINE - Yakima West Valley never trailed a match before the Class 2A State semifinals. Sehome quickly put the Rams in an unfamiliar position.
Just over two minutes in, Mariners' Teya Mischaikov blasted a shot from 25 yards out past the reaching arms of Yakima West Valley keeper Stephanie Gibson, and the goals kept on coming from there.
Mischaikov and Nikki Thon scored, Emily Webster added two goals and Hanna Tarleton handed out two assists, as the Mariners earned the chance to play for a Class 2A state title, cruising to a 4-0 state semifinal win against West Valley Yakima on Friday, Nov. 16, at rainy Shoreline Stadium.
"(Starting fast) was my biggest focus in prepping them," Sehome coach Andria Fountain said. "I haven't been happy with how they've started all through districts and in the first two rounds of state. I thought we came out flat and timid. I wasn't going to talk about anything else. I said, 'I just want you to come out from the get-go and attack, attack, attack.' We didn't even talk about anything else. We just focused on that one thing."
Sehome got the message loud and clear.
"It was so important," said Tarleton of the fast start. "I think it was the first time in these games we've had the advantage. It was a great goal, and we kind of dominated the rest of the game."
All facets, Sehome dominated.
Mariners' defenders Emily Russell, Hannah Mankle, Alli Umbaugh, Bryce Sherif, Kelsey Willis, Heron Paulsen-Quick and Katie Boon-Dooley all played a hand in shutting down Yakima West Valley's offense, which is predominately led by underclassmen.
"I knew who their leading scorer was, and I told Alli Umbaugh to just mark her and that was the game plan," Fountain said. "Everyone else just needed to step up, and that's what happened."
Sehome limited Yakima West Valley to two shots on frame, and only one of those tested Mariners keeper Rachel Albert.
Fourteen minutes after Mischaikov's score, Thon gave Sehome a two-goal lead.
The Sehome midfielder headed a ball past Gibson in the 16th minute off a high-looping cross from Tarleton. Thon found open space on the left side of the field and headed Tarleton's pass across the face of the Ram's starting keeper off the far post and in from eight yards out.
Sehome struck quickly again after halftime. Webster lined a shot from 25 yards out into the top left corner in the 45th minute for the first of her two second-half goals.
Webster found the back of the net 10 minutes later off an assist by Tarleton - her second of the night. The speedy senior midfielder had a breakaway opportunity, but her shot deflected off Yakima West Valley backup keeper Rozlyn Pratt right to Webster, who collected, turned and fired a shot left past Pratt from 12 yards out to give Sehome a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead.
"When other teams research us, they can tell (Webster) is our leading scorer," Fountain said. "Other teams have done a good job of marking her up, but I think she decided she wants to be one of those difference makers in the game. She wanted to come alive and take on that role."
Fountain began unloading her entire roster midway through the second half and was able to get playing time for all 19 athletes on her roster.
Sehome plays Sumner, which beat Squalicum 1-0 in a shootout prior to the Mariners' game, at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Shoreline Stadium, where Sehome will try to add another state title to its already packed trophy case.
"Sumner is a really quick team, and I think they play a lot like Squalicum," Tarleton said. "We need to mark them tight and keep them on their toes. A quick start like today will be key."
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862.
SEHOME 4, WEST VALLEY YAKIMA 0
Scoring: Goal: Teya Mischaikov (Sehome), time: 3; Goal: Nikki Thon (Sehome), assist: Hanna Tarleton, time: 16; Goal: Emily Webster (Sehome), time: 45; Goal: Emily Webster (Sehome), assist: Hanna Tarleton, time: 55. Shots on goal: Sehome 9; West Valley Yakima 2. Goalies (saves): Sehome: Rachel Albert/Hannah Lauffer (2); West Valley Yakima: Stephanie Gibson/Rozlyn Pratt (4).
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.