Liberty earns third straight KingCo title, moves on to state | Soccer
By ADAM MCFADDEN
Renton Reporter Staff Writer
November 1, 2012 · 1:37 PM
For the third year in a row, the most important thing for the Liberty girls soccer team right now is patience.
The Patriots (12-3-1) locked up a third straight KingCo 3A/2A title last week, meaning a trip directly to state. It also means the team got to rest for a week while other teams worked through a gauntlet of district playoffs.
“This week is a little bit tricky, but it’s a huge advantage for us,” said Liberty coach Tami Nguyen. “We can physically rest and get those nagging injuries get taken care of, but we have to mentally stay focused.”
The layoff worked last year as Liberty made it all the way to the 3A state championship game before succumbing to Seattle Prep 3-2.
“They are really determined to get back to that game and have a different result,” Nguyen said. “But we have to make sure they’re keeping perspective. You can’t overlook any of those games.”
The Patriots have a different look this year after losing all-state seniors Cassidy Nangle and Kimi Fry. Leading the way this year is Kiana Hafferty. Hafferty has 10 goals and five assists, after making the all-state second team last season.
Other key players have been Kailiana Johnson (nine goals), Kali Youngdahl (seven), Tara Johnson (eight), and Jacelyn Anderson (five). Nicolle Marlow has been excellent in the midfield. Amy Ellenberg has eight shutouts in goal.
Nguyen said the senior group has proven to be very strong since she is Liberty’s fourth head coach in the past four years. The past two coaches had success but were also involved in club and decided to go back to coaching club after their season with Liberty.
Nguyen said the timing was perfect for her to transition to high school coaching when her club merged with another club. She’s hoping to end the run of a new coach every season for the Patriots.
Liberty’s lone league loss came against Mercer Island, 1-0. The Patriots lost their only two non-league games, but the games were against 4A title contenders, Skyline (13-1-3) and Issaquah (15-2-1).
Liberty opens the 3A state tournament Nov. 7.Contact Renton Reporter Staff Writer Adam McFadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-255-3484.