King’s faces familiar foe in state semifinals | Girls soccer

Knights rally to beat Klahowya to move on to the final four
By David Pan | Nov 16, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan King’s Sarah Nielsen controls the ball during a first round 1A state playoff game against Elma Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Woolsey Stadium.

A young King’s team is coming together at the right time – the state tournament.

The Knights opened with a 7-1 rout over Elma in a first round 1A game on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and then rallied with two goals in the second half to defeat Klahowya in a quarterfinal matchup Saturday, Nov. 11, at Woolsey Stadium.

King’s now faces familiar foe Seattle Academy, which defeated the Knights 4-1 in the Bi-District championship game two weeks ago, in a semifinal contest at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Shoreline Stadium. The winner advances to the title game at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, at Shoreline Stadium, while the loser plays for third/fourth place at 10 a.m.

Knight coach Nicole Gabelein called her team, which includes 10 freshmen, a hard-working group.

“They come ready to work every day at practice,” she said. “They really go at it. They put the throttle down all game.”

King’s (13-8-0) trailed 2-1 at halftime against Klahowya before rallying for two goals. Freshman Meg Travis tied the score about seven minutes into the second half off an assist by junior Emma Culberson. Junior Callie Wright then scored the game-winner from a pass by senior Katie Stella. The senior scored King’s first goal in the first half via an assist by senior Emma Fleming.

At halftime Gabelein and the players talked about their defense and also about pressuring the opposition.

“We talked about how our forwards were really going to press them in the second half,” Gabelein said.

After a few minutes, “we turned up the gas and didn’t let up,” the King’s coach said. “We finished our opportunities. They had their opportunities. We were able to finish ours.”

Stella scored a hat trick and teammates Wright, Sarah Nielsen, Lauren Blair and Daylee Peterson each had a goal against Elma.

In the first meeting with Seattle Academy, King’s was missing a couple of players due to injuries.

“We’re going to be able to play those kids this game,” Gabelein said. “We’re looking forward to a good match with our healthy kids. We’re going to look a little different.”

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