Shorewood High School’s girls varsity soccer team win 3A District 1 Championship, advance to State

Monday, November 6, 2023

Shorewood high school’s girls varsity soccer team put on a sterling performance last Saturday night in crisp, cool conditions at the 3A District 1 playoff final match of the league postseason soccer tournament. They wrapped up the WesCo 3A league title on October 24, 2023 with a record of 15-0-0, qualified as the #1 seed for the District playoffs, with the top RPI ranking in the league.

In the quarter-final, they faced #8 seed Snohomish at Shoreline Stadium, in a tighter than expected contest. The Panthers had adapted by playing a midfield six zone formation to great effect, with the score tied 1-1 at the half. 

In the second half, the Stormrays responded with their aces #13 forward and #7 striker to break the midfield trap and seal the win, 3-1. 

The semi-final was a tilt against the #4 seed Mountlake Terrace, again with the home-field advantage. The Hawks deployed tight man marking with a dedicated sweeper to stave off the Stormrays, but the strike force of #7 and #13 broke through with sharp-shooting to triumph, 3-0. (see previous article)

This earned them the right to face the #2 seed, arch-rivals Shorecrest (12-3-0) in the 3A District 1 Championship Final on Saturday, November 4th. This titanic clash was destined to happen, as Scots were the WesCo 3A runner-up that had relentlessly pursued them throughout the regular season title race.

Shoreline had been soaked by torrential rain all day, but shortly before kickoff, the clouds parted, leaving a typical clear but chilly Fall evening. The stage was set for another chapter in the saga of high-stakes local derbies between friends, neighbors, even families. There was a definite excitement mixed with tension in the air, an expectant electricity, anticipating a contest where anything could happen. 

The Scots mustered a high press with aggressive marking, tenaciously pursuing and fighting for every ball. The Stormrays stuck to their tactics of quick passing, zig-zagging from sideline to sideline, mesmerizing and beguiling opposing defenders. 

One such thrust resulted in an unfortunate handball infraction against Shorecrest in the box, mandating an automatic penalty-kick. Could Shorewood take advantage of this stroke of luck, with barely a quarter of the game elapsed? 

Up stepped center-back #11, usually tasked to stop goals rather than scoring goals, with the pressure of expectation, that the goalkeeper would be unlikely to save the kick. With short strides, using accuracy rather than power, she coolly slots the ball into the right bottom corner of the net, 1-0.

The Scots, rather than being deflated, were spurred into an even more determined frenzy, hurling themselves forward with attacks down the wings and crosses into the box. Within minutes, a quick strike redirects a fast pass into the six-yard box, past the outstretched keeper for the equalizer, or was it? 

In a second unfortunate turn, the Shorecrest goal was waved off due to offside. Undaunted, the Scots responded by clogging the midfield, and denying the Stormrays their intricate passing lanes. They continued to launch salvos of long balls to bypass the stout Shorewood defense, and ended the half with high energy, with the Stormrays seemingly on their heels and clinging to a slender lead.

The match resumes with Shorecrest’s tall central defenders holding the quad back line, with three mids and three forwards, an attacking posture to go for broke rather than adopt a defensive crouch. The match flowed back and forth with end-to-end action, but slowly, by the middle of the second half, the Scots’ press was beginning to falter, and Stormrays were beginning to wrest control. 

Midfield maestro, #10, surrounded by four defenders, in a fit of hubris, feints to the right, into a sliver of space outside the eighteen-yard box, and while falling backwards, lashed a wicked shot to the left beyond the diving goalie, 2-0. 

Shorewood then piled on the pressure, to stamp out the insolent upstarts that dared to despoil their magical tour de force. Within minutes, Stormrays force a corner, and from the set-piece, lethal center-forward, #7 soars high like a majestic bird of prey and thunders home a powerful header, 3-0. At that point, Shorecrest shoulders visibly slump, the match was effectively over, and Shorewood subs in the bench players to close out the game.

As the whistle blows for full time, pandemonium ensues, as they lay claim to the title of 3A District 1 Champions. 

Shorewood gets their Senior redemption, where as Juniors, one year ago in 2022, in the same District Final, against the same opponent, they had lost a final heartbreaker. Can they top it with the trifecta of a 3A Soccer State Championship as well? 

That chapter remains to be written, as they attempt to do what was last done by their predecessors 24 years ago, in 1999. The State Tournament begins November 7/8 and ends November 18.

EPILOGUE: Both Shorewood and Shorecrest (WesCo League) have qualified for the 3A State Tournament as the #2 and #9 seeds. Two other teams representing District 1 are Ferndale and Oak Harbor (Northwest Conference), the #11 and #13 seeds. (see previous article from beginning of season)

Shorewood’s JV team finished the season with a respectable record of 5-4-2, finishing 8th in the league table, slightly overshadowed by their undefeated 13-0-0 Shorecrest JV counterparts, topping the table (see previous article). The scene is set for yet another epic showdown in the future.


Shorewood varsity girls soccer team
Shorewood team (alphabetical order)

Maggie Alonzo, McKenna Andersen, Evan Bachler, Alivia Berry, Madeleine Brouillard, Harper Emanuel, AnaLeah Gonzalez, Avery Hogle, Reese Johnson, Frankie Lara, Abbey Lee, Alia Lowden, Jasmine Lumbera, Maggie Mauney, Paige Petschl, Sophie Schindler, Amelia Severn, Ky Smith, Marieka Staheli, Diana Tuilevuka, Scarlett VonGunten.


Frank Workman,  November 6, 2023 at 6:24 AM  

Why not identify the players by their names?

Anonymous,  November 6, 2023 at 7:01 AM  

Really enjoyed reading this article. Well written. Go Stormrays!

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