The senior midfielder bound for Washington had 32 goals and 12 assists for the Patriots, who won the Class 2A state championship.
After Makena Carr produced a magical 20-goal, two-assist season as freshman on a Liberty girls soccer team that made a trip to the Class 2A state quarterfinals, the Patriots’ attacking midfielder worried about how she’d achieve an encore performance. Carr felt the pressure of delivering bigger and better her sophomore season. Sometimes, she’d leave practice in tears wondering how to manage bigger expectations.
“I remember some one-on-one conversations before and after practice (as a sophomore) feeling a lot of pressure, and sometimes in tears, and asking, ‘How do I use this pressure to my advantage and not feel like I have to do it all on my own?’ ” Liberty coach Tami Nguyen said. “She’s definitely a pleaser. Having such a great freshman year, she felt like she needed to outdo that year. She wanted to live up to the expectation she created as a freshman.”
The normally reserved Carr finished out her career strong and was emphatic in the legacy she left as part of a group of eight seniors who went out on top with a Class 2A state championship on Nov. 18. The University of Washington commit delivered beyond expectations, especially as a senior with 32 goals and 12 assists.
For her productive senior year, Carr was named the Star Times girls soccer player of the year.
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“She made everyone around her better,” said Mercer Island coach James Valles, whose team won the Class 3A state title after narrowly finishing second to Carr and the Patriots during the KingCo 3A/2A regular season. “Our game plan focused on her when we played Liberty. She just has this knack, and for some it’s just instinctual, for getting into the right spots. She really made that team go.
“She should be phenomenal at the next level, too.”
Carr stepped up in the biggest moment by tallying Liberty’s first two goals — during the ninth and 22nd minutes — in a 3-0 triumph over Columbia River in the state final. The Pats avenged a 3-2 overtime shootout loss to the Chieftains in the 2016 final.
“After, she scored that first one in the ninth minute, I saw it and one of the parents mentioned that they knew it was, ‘Game on,’ ” Nguyen said. “After she scores, Makena will celebrate some and usually give a little fist pump. On this one, she gave a huge jump and a huge fist pump. It was like, ‘Wow, she’s ready to go.’ ”
Carr also supplied a goal and an assist in the Patriots’ 6-2 win over West Valley of Spokane in the state semifinals.
Each season seemed to build toward bigger and better as a team during Carr’s four-year varsity career. She finished with 80 goals and 24 assists.
“I just tried to do what I do best, but there was some pressure after having such a good freshman year,” said Carr, who said she’ll likely move to forward in college with the Huskies. “After (freshman year), I decided to transition more into focusing on the team rather than myself. What was more important was helping the team out and carrying the team as far as possible.”
“That mentality actually helped me out a lot.”
2017 Star Times all-area girls soccer team
The Star Times girls soccer team, with athletes chosen from schools in King and Snohomish counties, or in the Metro and Wesco leagues.
Mariah Van Halm
Issaquah, F, Sr.
The University of Washington commit rang up 22 goals and seven assists in helping the Eagles to the Class 4A state title. She tied the single-season school record for points with 51. Van Halm will play in the High School All-American Game on Dec. 2 in Orlando, Fla.
Jackson, F, Sr.
The University of New Mexico commit supplied 18 goals and 17 assists on the 15-3-0 Timberwolves, who reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Jackson was first during the Wesco 4A regular season.
Jefferson, F, So.
The young talent provided 29 goals and seven assists for the Raiders (10-4-1), who took second in the NPSL Olympic Division. Still, named NPSL Olympic MVP, can score from just about any place on the field, using first-rate ball skills or her ability to score in the air.
Seattle Prep, F, Jr.
Franklin stepped into the role of offensive leader with 21 goals and eight assists on a team that reached the Class 3A state quarterfinals. The Panthers finished 14-3-2 and won the Metro League tournament thanks in big part to the Notre Dame commit.
Issaquah, MF, Sr.
University of Washington commit produced 12 goals, 10 assists to earn Kingco 4A Offensive MVP and an All-American game spot. She was instrumental on many goals on set pieces, taking many of the free kicks and corner kicks.
Mercer Island, MF, Sr.
One of the teams’ leaders and top playmakers as a defensive midfielder, she totaled 11 goals and 10 assists to help the Islanders go 16-1-3 and win the Class 3A state title after taking second in KingCo 3A/2A. Riley plans to play for University of Nevada-Reno.
Skyline, D, Sr.
The Seattle Pacific University commit was an integral part of the Spartans’ stingy defense, which allowed just 12 goals en route to winning the Kingco 4A tournament and reaching the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
Auburn Mountainview, D, Sr.
The standout defender uses her speed and agility to frustrate NPSL Olympic Division foes. The Lions, who gave up 23 goals, could always depend on Setera, who was named first team All-NPSL Olympic Division.
Kentlake, D, Sr.
The Falcons were led at the back by Barnes, who earned All-NPSL Cascade Division honors two seasons in a row, and was a bright spot on a 6-9-1 team.
Jackson, GK, Sr.
The Minnesota State University-Moorhead commit made acrobatic save after acrobatic save for the Timberwolves and helped them reach the state quarterfinals. She helped the team limit the opposition to 15 goals and registered nine shutouts.
Tom Bunnell, Issaquah
The 14th-year coach announced he was retiring from the Eagles’ program late in the season, and his players delivered an emotional send off with a Class 4A state championship. He posted a 220-40-16 record in his tenure and led the school to a big-school best five state crowns.