WENATCHEE, WA – The Wenatchee run in the post-season soccer playoffs ended Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Kennedy Catholic at the Apple Bowl. The State 4A Quarterfinal defeat was not for a lack of effort or chances, according to Panther head coach John Springer. “It was just an off day for us and our shots didn’t go in.”
Kennedy broke a scoreless tie late in the first half on a perfect strike by Natalie DeGagne from 15-yards to the right of Wenatchee’s goal, on a sharp angle, that found the left-front-upper corner of the goal. The Lancers held the 1-zero lead at the half in a gray, misty day at Lee Bofto Field.
Wenatchee came out attacking in the second half with one chance after another just going awry. Coach Springer said, “the hardest part about this is that we felt we faced tougher opponents this season. Our defense was strong enough to hold off their offense. They got about three shots all game and made a beautiful shot to score.” Springer thought, eventually, his club would find the back of the net. “I felt like we created the pressure. We created most of the possessions. Sure, there were times we got a little bit tired and faltered a bit. Today was one of our more off days then others…our touch was a little bit off but I don’t think it was from the pressure from the other team.”
Wenatchee had several attack chances in the later stages of the second half, but Kennedy goalkeeper Jaclyn Seifert was right there with every stop. The Panthers best chance at a score came in the 75th minute when they got a ball ahead to leading scorer Jaden Griggs. The junior forward was able to beat the defender up the left side, but as she approached Seifert for the shot, she dribbled one too many times and her shot on goal went wide left and hit the outside of the goal frame. Springer said, “yeah, she’s beating herself for that one and I told her, Jaden we’re not here without you or this far. She scored our last five goals over the past three games for us to even be here. So, every competitor is going to wish they had another shot at it and she’s going to wish she had taken that shot a little sooner.”
Springer says this loss will hurt for the seven seniors on the team, but hopes they realize what they accomplished. “Before long, you’ll realize what you’ve done and where you’ve taken this program. Ultimately, it just ends up in a lot of hugs and a lot of thank you’s for everything you’ve done.
Kennedy advances to face Central Valley in the Final Four Friday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.