Team scoring leaders Sophia Pagnotta of Sehome and Dakota Carson of Squalicum say they don’t count their goal totals.
However, the goals each scored in a 1-1 Northwest Conference girls soccer tie Tuesday at Civic Stadium surely counted in a big way for both district title contenders.
Squalicum (6-2-4 overall, 4-2-3 Class 3A NWC), which has more ties than usual for a Storm team, remained strongly in the running for a Northwest District playoff spot with four league games left.
Sehome (8-2-2 overall, 7-1-1 2A NWC) – which came in tied with Burlington-Edison for the overall lead in the 14-team league – still has a solid shot for a No. 1 district seed with four league games remaining.
Twelve minutes into the game, Carson scored on a pretty high-angle shot.
“It was maybe my eighth goal,” said Carson, a quick junior, when asked how many scores she has. “I got an assist from Riley Fowler when she played a through ball and split the defenders.”
In the final minute of the first half, Pagnotta, also a speedy junior, took an accurate pass from Payton Boehm to produce what would become the second tie of the season for the Mariners and Storm, who played their traditional nonleague games last month.
“Sophia is in double digits, with about 10 to 12 goals,” said veteran Sehome coach Andria Fountain.
Both goalies, Storm junior Miranda Rodriguez and Mariners sophomore Jessica Melvin, enjoyed numerous big moments.
Rodriguez had only one save opportunity in the first half, but she made six saves after halftime. Melvin had three saves in the first half, including an outstanding stop on her knees to deprive Storm senior Jessica DeVere of what looked like a sure goal in the 33rd minute.
“I knew my teammates would be there for me,” Rodriguez said of her spectacular second half..
“Miranda reads the situations so well,” Storm coach Jose Rodriguez said. “She handles the angles, the trajectories and everything. And she’s always ready.”
“For whatever reason, I wish we had not had to stop playing at halftime,” said Rodriguez, whose team did not get a second-half shot on goal until Natalie Shikany missed the left post by inches with a clutch effort with four minutes left. “Halftime seemed to spoil our momentum.”
“In both of our ties, I think we dominated the second half and Squalicum dominated the first half,” said Fountain. Rodriguez agreed.
Both coaches praised their backline defenders as well as their highly promising goalies.