The dominance was there, but the Issaquah girls soccer team had a little luck, too, in getting its Class 3A girls soccer state-title defense...
ISSAQUAH — The dominance was there, but the Issaquah girls soccer team had a little luck, too, in getting its Class 3A girls soccer state-title defense off on the right foot.
Junior forward Molly Gottlieb provided a hat trick, including two goals in the final seven minutes to break a 1-1 tie, as the Eagles beat Columbia River of Vancouver 3-1 Tuesday night.
Gottlieb tallied the game-winner in the 73rd minute by nicking the ball into the net off a corner kick from recent junior varsity call-up Kelsey Ford. Gottlieb added another goal with 15 seconds left.
“Initially, when they tied it, sure we were panicked,” said Gottlieb. “But when you look around at those 10 other girls and know we’ve built so much trust … You know everyone’s going to give 100 percent to get a goal back.”
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Gottlieb won the battle for the ball during a mad scramble before scoring the tiebreaker.
“It was just a toe-poke,” she said. “Lucky me, I was there to poke it in. It was just a scramble and I happened to be there.”
Issaquah (16-0-1), which extended its unbeaten streak to 38 matches, faces Kennedy Saturday at Highline Stadium in the quarterfinals.
Issaquah is ranked 17th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas national rankings, and is No. 4 in the West Region. The Eagles have outscored opponents 55-3.
“We aren’t looking to the championship, we are looking to the next game,” Gottlieb said.
“Our goal is to be back there [in the title game]. It’s purely our motivation. It’s awesome to say that [the seniors] can reach the championship four times if we make it.”
The Eagles, who have won the KingCo 3A title four years in row, are seeking their third state crown in four seasons and six seniors could get another title taste.
“It never comes easy,” said Issaquah fourth-year coach Tom Bunnell, whose team outshot the Chieftains 26-3. “With all our early opportunities, their goalkeeper [McKensie Krebs] played a great game.If we’d gotten one early on, it would’ve been a different ballgame. They got that newfound excitement and they battled.
“First-round games you don’t know who you’re going to get.”
Columbia River, the third-place team from the Greater St. Helens 3A League, finished 12-5-2.