Knights edge Lyncs in shootout to take district title | Girls soccer

King’s passes first hurdle in its state title defense
By David Pan | Nov 01, 2018
Courtesy of: Alyssa Culberson King’s celebrates winning the District 1 championship Saturday, Oct. 27 at Sultan High School. The Knights defeated Lynden Christian 2-1 in a shootout to claim its eighth straight district crown.

King’s won its eighth straight district girls soccer title.

But the 2-1 victory over Lynden Christian didn’t come easily, as the Knights prevailed 4-2 in a shootout to edge the Lyncs in the District 1 championship game Saturday, Oct. 27, at Sultan High School.

“We’re feeling good,” King’s coach Nicole Gabelein said. “It’s a game we wanted to win for sure.”

Saturday’s victory means that the Knights face Overlake in the Bi-District championship game at 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. King’s (16-2 overall) clinched a berth to the 1A state tournament.

The opportunity to have an entire week without any games is a huge reward for the defending state champions.

“We get to work on things we need to seal up,” Gabelein said. “We can rest our players and get refreshed. Having this week off is a big deal.”

Senior Sarah Nielsen scored off an assist from senior Callie Wright to give King’s a 1-0 lead in the first half. Lynden Christian’s Hailey TenPas followed with a goal to tie the score at 1. Neither team was able to score in the second half.

The taller Lyncs tried to use their height to their advantage by getting the ball in the air as often as they could.

“We need to just focus on staying on the ground, keeping the ball on the ground,” Gabelein said. “That’s when we play well. Lynden, they popped the ball up a lot. We do better with the ball at our feet, connecting the ball with our feet.”

King’s Nielsen, Wright, Emma Culberson and Delaney Peterson scored goals in the shootout and junior goalkeeper Grace Roberts recorded two saves.

King’s opened district play with a 3-1 victory over Meridian Monday, Oct. 22, at Woolsey Stadium. Wright scored two goals and Nielsen had the other score.

Led by Culberson, the King’s defense has allowed only one goal or produced a shutout in seven out of its last eight games. Freshman defenders Isa Kimball and Rylie Crabtree have excelled in their first season on varsity.

“Our midfield is really rotating well, keeping their shape and connecting up to the forward line,” Gabelein added.

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