Hazen wins playoff game on penalty kicks

Hazen girls soccer rallied to force an overtime and penalty kicky to keep 2016 campaign alive.

The Hazen girls soccer team gave up two goals in the first 13 minutes of play during Tuesday’s first-round, loser-out playoff game against Emerald Ridge, but rallied to force an overtime and penalty kicks to keep their 2016 campaign alive.

When the dust settled, it was the Highlanders on top with the final score 2-2 but Hazen ahead 5-4 on penalty kicks.

The Jaguars’ two goals came fast, putting Hazen on its heels and their whole season in jeopardy.

“It looked like we were playing in slow motion,” Coach Ken Matthews said in an email. “We needed something before the half to at least give us hope.”

In the 31st minute, Madison Taylor provided that hope when she took a long pass from Anna Browne and put it in the back of the net to cut the deficit in half as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

“Maddies’ goal was important because it came against the run of play,” Matthews said. “After that, the Jags had to look at our offense a little more rather than pounding the ball up and over the defense.”

The two teams battled through most of the second half with Emerald Ridge ahead 2-1 and Matthews said Rae Gerking “saved a disaster in the making” with a clearance to keep the score where it was.

Finally, with less than three minutes to go in the game, Nia Johnson took a cross from Amy Warmenhoven and put it past the Jaguar keeper to knot the game at 2 as time ran out.

The teams played two scoreless “golden goal” overtime periods and then moved on to penalty kicks. Madison Kem, Taylor, Warmenhoven, Meagan Kelly and Gerking each put in their kicks and goalie Kaitlyn Kitely was able to make a save to lock up the win for the Highlanders.

With the win, Hazen advanced to play Kentridge, who finished the season at the top of the North Puget Sound League Cascade division table with a 12-1-2 overall record. Hazen took on the Chargers Thursday at French Field in Kent, too late for this edition of the paper.