High School Soccer

Mariners booted out of state by Liberty

Sehome’s girls’ soccer team has had its fair share of success this season.

The Mariners were the only team to get points against Squalicum, responded with two wins after losing the first round of districts and they made it back to state after missing out last year.

But what sticks out in Devin Grahn’s mind was beating Bellingham three times. The Mariners were eliminated from the district tournament last year when the Red Raiders topped Sehome 1-0. This year the Mariners exacted their revenge, knocking out Bellingham in the district tournament with a 2-0 win.

All in all, the 2014 season was a success for Sehome.

“I thought we had a great year,” Grahn said. “People didn’t think we’d make it this far and we did. I’m proud of my team.”

But the Mariners finally met their match on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Liberty High School, falling to the Patriots 4-1 in the first round of the Class 2A State Tournament.

Liberty was the Class 3A state champions last year and moved down to 2A this season, so Sehome knew it was going to be tough.

Making it even tougher was KingCo conference’s leading scorer Makena Carr.

“You just have to play it smart,” Grahn said. “Sit and see how she plays and try some things. If it doesn’t work, you have to adjust to the player.”

Sehome never found the answer though. Carr scored two first-half goals, including one in the second minute, and added another in the 54th minute to put the game out of reach.

“It’s really hard if you haven’t seen them play,” Sehome coach Andria Fountain said. “It can be hard to make adjustments in the middle of the game. You don’t get timeouts in soccer.”

Carr also put Sehome in a position the Mariners haven’t been in much this season.

“My backs are pretty fast so we’re not used to being outmatched in the back,” Fountain said. “It wasn’t the result I was looking for.”

The Mariners’ offense also struggled to possess the ball. They ended up getting outshot 11-9, but many of the Mariners’ shots were contested while Liberty’s shots made Sehome goalie Nicole Carlson work.

But the Mariners never gave up, even after a Liberty free kick in the 73rd minute went over the outstretched arms of Carlson, who made seven saves on the night, to make it 4-0.

In the 80th minute, the Mariners were able to give one of their seniors a nice sending off gift.

Stephanie Mindnich found the back of the net on a volley that just dropped between the posts.

“The three seniors that have played this season have done a great job with leadership,” Fountain said. “I wanted to make sure they were all on the field at the end of the game and we kept pressing.”

Mindnich’s goal was her third of the playoffs, after a two-goal performance against Bellingham in districts gave the Mariners a state berth.

“We’re definitely going to miss our seniors,” Grahn said. “They were a really big impact on our team.”

The Mariners lose Katie Mindnich, Stephanie Mindnich and Brittney Norris from the cast that played this year.

But Sehome has plenty to look forward to. The Mariners only lose three consistent starters from this season and return eight juniors including team-leading scorer Grahn.

Grahn will join Lyla Pagnotta, Bryce Sherif, Andrea Zucchi and Christina Funk, who all had at least five goals this season.

“I think we’re on the right track,” Fountain said. “I have a lot of versatile players.”

And those players all now have a state tournament game under their belts, something that the Mariners were missing this season.

“It’s just nice to have that experience,” Fountain said. “We’ll take that forward into next year and we can go even further.”

The Mariners finished the year 11-6-3.

LIBERTY 4, SEHOME 1

Goal: Makena Carr (Liberty), assist: Laurie Willoughby, time: 2; Goal: Makena Carr (Liberty), assist: Julia Koontz, time: 39; Goal: Makena Carr (Liberty), time: 54, Goal: Morgan Childs (Liberty), time: 73; Goal: Stephanie Mindnich (Sehome), time: 80. Goal: Sehome: Nicole Carlson (7), Liberty: Sydney Argosino (7). Goalies (saves) — Sehome: Nicole Carlson (7), Liberty: Sydney Argosino (7). Shots on goal — Sehome 9, Liberty 11.

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