SHORELINE - Alli Umbaugh was charged with one mission before the Sehome girls' soccer state championship 1-0 loss to Sumner on Saturday, Nov. 17 - shut down Kaylie Rozell.
She didn't back down from the challenge.
"I felt like it was on my shoulders," Umbaugh said. "That was my one job, and I felt like I had all of that responsibility myself."
Rozell had scored 33 goals during the regular season and is a major force in the Sumner attack.
Umbaugh marked her out of the game and only allowed one dangerous play. Unfortunately for the Mariners, that one play made the difference.
"She got that one cross in but other than that I thought I held my own," Umbaugh said. "I felt good about guarding her, and I don't think she did a lot."
Rozell was able to put herself out wide and put a ball into the box that Kaitie Huff was able to get past Rachel Albert from about 6 yards out.
Outside of the one pass, Umbaugh shut down Rozell completely.
Umbaugh was even able to limit her chances one-on-one.
It began to frustrate Rozell, and towards the end of the game, she began to play more physically. It earned her a yellow card in the 66th minute after tackling Umbaugh and Hanna Tarleton a few different times.
Umbaugh limited Rozell to only three attempts on goal and only one that forced Albert to make a save.
"I tried to just stay in my own head," Umbaugh said. "I didn't let anything get to me and it worked to my advantage."
Albert said that Umbaugh continued her regular season performance in the game.
"Alli has been consistent this whole season, and in this game she played great," Albert said. "(Rozell) is a dangerous player, but I though Alli did a great job shutting her down."
Throughout the game Albert was yelling out instructions for Umbaugh to not let Rozell turn. Albert said Umbaugh was able to take away her options and not allow her any room.
Emily Webster said Umbaugh has improved drastically throughout her career at Sehome and that this game really showed that growth.
"It's a lot of fun to watch her play and to have watched her grow," Webster said. "She has really become a leader and I have loved watching her succeed."
The Sehome defense made a drastic improvement from the district tournament. During the regular season the Mariners' defense allowed only seven goals, but they then allowed five goals during three games at districts.
The team was able to adjust and didn't allow a single goal through the first three games of the state tournament, and only allowed the one goal in the final game to Sumner.
Umbaugh was a key factor alongside the other senior defenders Emily Russell, Hannah Mankle and Teya Mischaikov. Bryce Sherif, Nikki Thon, Heron Boon-Dooley and Kelsey Willis also played a large role in the Mariners' success on defense.
"I know we all played our hearts out," Umbaugh said. "I am proud of every single player and how we played."
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.