The Wolverines knocked off the defending state champs with JoJo Harber’s goal in the 50th minute. Bellevue faces Southridge on Saturday in its first state championship game appearance.

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PUYALLUP — Bellevue soccer coach Peter Cochran knows that sometimes a little luck is needed to win a big soccer game.

Especially, when the opponent has won 44 consecutive games.

Bellevue got that fortunate break in the 50th minute when Seattle Prep tried to clear a ball and it ricocheted off Wolverines forward JoJo Harber to give Bellevue a 1-0 victory over the defending state champions Friday night in the Class 3A state soccer semifinals at Sparks Stadium.

The victory sends the Wolverines to the state title game for the first time in program history.

“It was, probably, a little fortunate,” Cochran said. “I think it pinged around a bit in the box and bounced right to JoJo’s feet and in it went. Sometimes, in a very tight game like we had with Prep, those are the breaks that go your way to get you past to the next round.”

The goal came moments after an apparent goal from Bellevue (18-0-2) was waived off by the official. Wolverines senior Maud van der Kooi thought she heard the referee’s whistle and launched a free kick into the goal. The official immediately waved it off.

Wolverines senior goalkeeper Madi George made sure the goal held up. George, an All-KingCo shortstop for Bellevue and the captain of the Wolverines’ gymnastics team, tried out this season after not playing organized soccer for 10 years.

George saved a free kick from Sophie Hirst just three minutes into the game and recorded her 14th shutout of the season.

“I cannot say enough good things about Madi George,” Cochran said. “She is not only an excellent goalkeeper, but she is just the heart and soul of our team.”

“I’m so proud of our program,” George said. “So proud of all the girls — each and every one of them.”

Seattle Prep also won state titles in 2010 and 2011. According to Panthers coach Andy Hendricks, “it’s been a couple years” since the Panthers were shut out.

“(Bellevue is) just a solid team,” Hendricks said. “… Soccer is a game of moments and opportunities and converting on opportunities. They didn’t have a tremendous number either, and it was kind of a scrappy goal and that’s the way soccer goes sometimes.”

Seattle Prep (21-1) is the top-ranked team in the state and ranked No. 16 nationally by MaxPreps.com. The Panthers had won 44 matches in a row, with their last loss over two years ago to eventual state champion Edmonds-Woodway in the 2014 state quarterfinals.

Until Friday night.

“We liked our chances,” Cochran said. “I think our team is pretty good. This group of girls have won a KingCo championship for four years in a row. We went into this game undefeated. So, we respected Prep. They’re an excellent program, the defending champions, unbeaten and untied — but we liked our chances.”

Southridge of Kennewick, which has been the runner-up at state the past two seasons, will have another chance to take home a title after clinching a spot in the Class 3A state championship game with a 1-0 semifinal victory over Bishop Blanchet (12-7-3).

Southridge (20-2) got a goal from senior Kendall Pope in the sixth minute and goalkeeper Tiara Valadez recorded the shutout for the Suns, who are seeking their first state championship.

Bishop Blanchet will try to match its best finish in program history when the Braves face Seattle Prep in the third-place game at 10 a.m. Saturday.