Sophomore Izzy Marshall scored in the 15th minute to give the Spartans the 1-0 win in the championship.
PUYALLUP — It would be easy to lose Izzy Marshall in a crowd.
But on this occasion, the 5-foot Marshall easily stood out after the Class 4A championship match.
Marshall, a sophomore, found herself just outside a crowded goal mouth and drilled her chance at glory home in the 15th minute as fourth-ranked Skyline downed district rival No. 5 Issaquah, 1-0, on Saturday night at Sparks Stadium.
Skyline earned back-to-back state titles in 4A for the second time in five years.
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“I was a wonderful cross by Amanda Johnston, and it was a good play, and I saw the opportunity to one-foot it with my left foot,” said Marshall. “I was just focusing getting in the goal, and as soon I heard everyone cheering, I was like, ‘Oh, I scored.’
“It was 100 percent adrenaline.”
The Spartans’ smallest player made the biggest single contribution as Skyline (17-1-3) reeled in its fourth 4A state title in five years. And the Spartans did it against an injury-plagued Issaquah team (19-3-1) that limped into the finals with three 3A titles in tow.
Once up, the Spartans clamped down on defense in the aggressively played match, which featured 20 fouls and five yellow cards.
“The ball didn’t go in tonight when it could have,” said Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell. “This game was going to come down to who got the goal and then you’ll have to fight and scrap.”
Skyline took control on Marshall’s 10-yard finish of Johnston’s pass in the third All-KingCo 4A final in five years.
Skyline goalkeepers Emily Baril and Jaeden Chew combined for the team’s 11th shutout of the season.
“We couldn’t have had a harder route,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “We came through Union, who won the Southwest, then we had to play Puyallup, who won the SPSL South, then Tahoma, who beat Puyallup, and then we saw Issaquah in the finals.
“Tom just ran out of horses. It was unfortunate with their injuries.”
Defender Kelly Sullivan marked Tahoma’s Brie Hooks in the semifinal and then held Issaquah’s Audrey Thomas in check in the final. Thomas, the Eagles’ playmaker, was nursing an injured left knee in the state tournament, but gave a gutsy performance.
“Audi made a gallant effort staying in the game,” Bunnell said.
The matchup featured a pair of Mercer Island graduates as coaches — Issaquah’s Bunnell (1983) and Skyline’s Braman (1987). Bunnell coached Braman as an MI freshman in boys soccer, and he coaches Braman’s 12-year-old son, Adam, as a goalkeeper.
“We’ve been friends for years,” Bunnell said. “We’ve grown up together. We’ve played together. We scout together.
“This was fun, and this isn’t bitter. It’s an amazing rivalry.”
Tahoma 1, Camas 0
Junior Tori Tappero scored in the 28th minute and the Bears (21-1) held strong enough on defense to collect third place.
The win sent off Tahoma’s 11 seniors in a positive way and gave them finishes of second in 2010, third in 2011 and third in 2012.
“It’s obviously rough that we had to come out and play again knowing we weren’t going be playing in the championship,” said senior Brie Hooks, who will play at Colorado next fall. “But it was good to come out and have a game and go out on a good note with a win.”
It just hurts to know we got so close and not fulfill what we’d been working for.”
Tappero was set up at the near post on the right side and flicked Hooks’ service off the top of her head just inside the front left post on the opposite side of the goal.
It was Tappero’s 11th goal of the season and Hooks’ 28th assist of the year.