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Heartbreaking overtime losses end Falcons Season

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Woodinville's Cassie Johnson with the header. Derek Johnson photo.

 

BOTHELL — The Woodinville Falcons took Inglemoor and Jackson to overtime last week but lost both games and their season came to an end.

Woodinville finished the year with an overall record of 6-6-2. Wednesday, Oct. 31 was the teams final game of the regular season at PopKeeney Stadium.

The Falcons were playing Inglemoor, who had already claimed the conference championship. Woodinville came out with massive intensity. There were high-speed collisions and bodies flying to the cold turf. Ella Zamzow scored the first goal of the contest and the Falcons led the Vikings 1-0.

Woodinville fans were ecstatic. Inglemoor answered back in the second half to send the match to overtime.

It was there that the Vikings scored again to prevail 2-1.

“I think we fought really hard through the whole thing,” Woodinville’s Holland Pilukas said. “But Inglemooris very tough and they have a lot of spirit on their team.”

Falcons coach M’ily Reiterstared off into the middle distance as she spoke with a reporter.

“Sometimes it is hard to gather my thoughts after an emotional game when you lose in overtime,” Reiter said.“We battled with a tough team and took them to over-time. Our team shows a lot of character in that sense. We can shut down their best player — Hannah Jensen did an amazing job defending their best player [Ashly Burge], who is the league’s offensive MVP.

“When they scored we were like, `Man we laid everything out there and yet they just scored.’ We felt defeated and didn’t have the energy to fight back— Inglemoor did a great job of getting us out of our rhythm. Almost like they bully us into playing a different game plan than we want, and it works for them.”

Woodinville was slated to play Jackson Saturday, Nov. 2 in the first round of the West-King 4A Girls District Tournament. When asked about it, Reiter
nodded and smiled.

“We can beat anyone on any given day,” she said. “Jackson is ranked higher and we’re the underdog. But that gives us a little bit more fuel. I think we can beat anyone. I’m excited — it’s our first playoff game.”

Woodinville traveled to Everett Memorial Stadium and battled Jackson to a 0-0 score at the end of regulation play. The game went to overtime, but neither team could break the ice there either.

When it came down to nerve-racking penalty kicks, Jackson tallied a goal to win it 1-0.

Amazing comeback gives Falcons KingCo Crown

  • Written by Derek Johnson

   

A few players on the Falcons roster after a recent practice. Back row from left are
Laura Dobey, Caoimhe Dobey, Ciena Talamantes, Zoe McCarthy and Sidney Suzuki.
Front row from left is Zoe Wu and Jada Alcantara. Derek Johnson photo.

 

 

As the game went to the bottom of the 7th inning, Woodinville trailed Bothell10-7 and things looked bleak.

The Falcons were 18-0 on the season and on the verge of losing the KingCo Championship game.

But looking in the dugout, the girls in green seemed relatively loose and carefree.

“These girls always have smiles on their faces,” Woodinville coach KimBenedict said. “Even when we were down to Bothell, they smiled and goofed off in the dugout, being their crazy selves. They have a weird connection in that dugout and it works for them. That is what makes them the WoodinvilleSlowpitch team.”

Woodinville scored two runs and had the bases loaded. Catcher Laura Dobey stepped up to the plate when time out was called.

Dobey huddled with CoachBenedict and expressed her anxiety. Benedict told her “You’re going to be fine. You have confidence and the team has confidence in you.”

Moments later, Dobeyswung at a pitch and hit a screamer up the middle. The ball traveled all the way to the fence. Two runs scored, and Dobey ended up at third.

“When it happened it was a blur,” Dobey said. “I stepped on third base and there were14 girls around me hitting me. I was very excited but very emotional.”

Woodinville won 11-10 and captured the KingCo Crown with an unblemished 19-0 record. This was the inaugural season for slowpitch softball for both Woodinville and the KingCo Conference.

“The girls played their hearts out,” Benedict said. “They knew what to expect from these teams and they didn’t let anything get in their way.”

Woodinville subsequently traveled to Yakima last weekend for the State Tourney. A recap will be featured in the Nov. 11 issue of the Woodinville Weekly.

“This season has been really awesome,” senior captain Jada Alcantara said. “Half this team I didn’t know until tryouts came. It has been a great way to start my senior year and go down in history with all these new friends and winning KingCo. It’s our little family here.

“I just want to have fun [inYakima],” she added. “We've made it this far playing the game we love by having fun. No stress. That's the mentality we need to take going into this."

Falcons survive scare from Skyline

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Noah Stifle tossed three touchdown passes against Skyline. Derek Johnson photo

BOTHELL— A strange feeling was in the air in the first half at Pop Keeney Stadium last Friday night in a must-win game against Skyline, as the Woodinville Falcons were noticeably tight. 

Skyline led 6-0, and Falcon fans were fretting over the unexpected turn of events. But Woodinville rallied in the second half to hold off the Spartans 21-14.

The Falcons (8-1) will advance in the play-offs to face Emerald Ridge this Saturday. Meanwhile, the Spartans (3-6) saw their season came to an end.

“We’re in the playoffs, and the intensity goes up another level,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “Win or go home, right? Skyline came out and did a great job fighting and doing good things on both sides of the ball. We weren’t as clean as we’d like to be, but I give Skyline credit for a lot of that.”

The Falcons started off the game in a funk. There was a missed short field goal, a dropped interception and a fumble deep in Skyline territory that thwarted a scoring opportunity.

Meanwhile, watching Skyline on offense was like watching Princeton play basketball.

The Spartans intended to milk the clock and shorten the game. They’d constantly allow the play clock to wind down before snapping the ball. They also converted several third-and-long situations to keep drives alive and Woodinville’s offense on the sideline.

As the teams walked off the field at halftime, Woodinville offensive lineman Nathan Metz cajoled teammates to loosen up.

“I felt on the field that everyone was tight,” Metz said. “We’re all playing a game we love. I was preaching to the guys that we’re playing this game for fun. Let’s go out there and enjoy this game!”

On Woodinville’s first possession of the second half, Noah Stifle connected with Carter Smith for a touchdown pass to build the lead to 14-6.

Late in the third quarter, Matthew Armstrong intercepted a pass that helped sway more momentum toward Woodinville. 

The lead was extended to 21-6 in the fourth quarter when Stifle connected with Cage Schenck.

The play was most impressive as it seemed that Schenck would surely be tackled for a short gain. But the elusive playmaker juked his way out of peril before sprinting free toward pay dirt.

“Cage makes guys look foolish in space,” Coach Maxwell said. “He’s calm, patient and confident in making those plays.”

Maxwell also had good words for senior wide receiver Daniel Bacon.

“Daniel had a couple of big catches tonight,” Maxwell said. “That was awesome to see because he has worked hard to get to this point.”

Joey Johnson finished the night with 138 yards rushing. The senior now has 1,097 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. According to team statistician Andrew Strutzel,

Johnson is the first Falcon in at least 15 years to go over 1,000 yards in a season. On defense, Isaac Fuiten led the way with 12 tackles, while Carter Laccinole added 9 tackles and a tackle for loss. A WAKE-UP CALL

Woodinville players acknowledged after the game that they might’ve overlooked Skyline. 

“We came out like this wasn’t going to be the most difficult game in the world,” Metz said. “Obviously that was not the right mindset to have. You can never overlook any

team, especially a storied team like Skyline. They’re a tight-knit group, I noticed that...This is their last game of the year, and they were going to give us everything they’ve got.”

“I don’t know if I agree with [Nathan],” Joey Johnson said. "We definitely knew they were a good team with some very good players. But maybe we did underestimate them a little bit.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ADDISON

After the game ended, the Woodinville team gathered around Addison Maxwell, the daughter of coach Wayne Maxwell. Together they faced the grandstands while serenading

her with a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Addison turned 14 last Friday.

“The other day Coach Maxwell called the captains over,” Metz said. “He said it was his daughter’s birthday on Friday, so we’re going to sing happy birthday and try
to embarrass her. So I gave her the tiara and she was like `I don’t want to be up here!’ But then we started singing and I think she enjoyed it.”

Woodinville runs roughshod through North Creek

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Woodinville's Morgan Holliday (center) corrals an interception. (Dale Garvey photo)

 

 BOTHELL — Powered by nearly 400 yards rushing, the Woodinville Falcons beat up on North Creek 41-7 last Thursday night at Pop Keeney Stadium.

The Falcons (7-1) were led by senior tailback Joey Johnson, who rushed for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns. Woodinville’s offensive line dominated as the Falcons averaged nearly 10 yards a carry.

“It was impressive,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “The offensive line made some big holes. Big plays by Cage [Schenck] tonight. Blake [Glessner] did some great things, with a nice interception. On the D-line, Jack Beresford was lights out, made some great plays. Carter Smith had a great sideline catch. Lots of good things happening tonight.”

The Falcons wasted no time in taking the lead. On the game’s second play from scrimmage, Johnson took a handoff and ran through a Grand Canyon-sized hole to race untouched 35 yards for the score.

Later in the first quarter, quarterback Noah Stifle hit Cage Schenck on a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

Woodinville built a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks to the overwhelming rushing attack. Johnson added another score when he sliced through the left side for a 24-yard touchdown scamper.

As the offense returned to the sideline, assistant coach Mike Monan was there to greet everyone with high-fives. Monan pounded Stifle on the shoulder pads and shouted “WAY TO HAND OFF! THAT’S YOUR BEST SERIES YET!”, before turning to wink at a nearby reporter.

Stifle opened up the second half by hitting Schenck again for a 52-yard touchdown pass. On Woodinville’s next possession, Johnson added his third score with a 13-yard rumble into pay dirt. The Falcons led 38-7 and went into cruise control the rest of the way.

Stifle finished the night with 180 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. Jack Diskin had 5 catches for 62 yards, and John Neo Zapanta added 21 yards on 4 carries. On defense, Carter Laccinole and Jimmy Lanctot each had a tackle for loss. Josh Spencer, Blake Glessner and Morgan Holliday each had an interception.

When the game was over, Coach Maxwell felt good about his team’s frame of mind.

“Our guys are locked into the season and are working hard every day,” he said. “They’re focused on getting better and making a run in the playoffs.”

Stifle cited the stunning loss to Bothell on Oct. 11 as a helpful motivator.

“I think that Bothell game really woke us up a little bit,” Stifle said. “We needed something like that because we were overconfident. That game brought us down to earth a bit. Now we’re making ourselves really push each other even harder at practice and in the weight room... Our coaches are emphasizing that the little things matter.”

Teammate Blake Glessner agreed.

“Like last year when we lost to Mount Si, after that, it was a whole new team,” Glessner said. “We got some playoff momentum from that. You never want to [ideally] get your momentum like that, but it did help us realize what we did wrong and what we needed to do to get better.”

Woodinville will play Skyline in a crossover game this Friday at Pop Keeney Stadium. From this point on, any loss will bring the season to an end.

“It’s crazy that we’re already seniors,” Glessner said. “Senior Night was last week. It’s unreal, you can’t take any game for granted because each game could be your last day.”

Falcons miss opportunity in loss to Jaguars

  • Written by Derek Johnson

 

Players from Woodinville and North Creek await a corner kick. Derek Johnson photo.

 

BOTHELL — When the match was over, the Woodinville players huddled quietly. The stadium sound system played Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin." The huddle then broke and Coach M’ily Reiter had a brooding look on her face as she approached a waiting reporter.

“It’s one of those `I hate soccer’ moments,” she said, forcing a smile. “When you dominate the whole game and are the better team, and then lose -- that’s soccer sometimes.”

Such was the case in Woodinville’s 2-0 loss to North Creek last Wednesday night at Pop Keeney Stadium. The Falcons entered the match needing a win to clinch a spot in the Kingco 4A playoffs. By virtue of their better record, it stood to reason the girls in green would prevail.

“On paper, we should have won,” Woodinville’s Clara Krause said. “But it’s a rivalry game and it didn’t work out for us.”

The Lady Jaguars tallied a goal in each half while pitching a shutout of the girls in green.

“Finishing is definitely a problem for us,” Krause said. “We work on it a lot in practice. Defending isn’t usually our problem. We don’t have that one brute player on top who can score right away... We’re all learning to pass and move better than what we were used to before.”

“I think [North Creek] probably got a little lucky on the first goal,” Reiter said. “We tried to push numbers forward and gave up the second goal. Pushing numbers creates an imbalance defensively and they capitalized.”

With the loss, Woodinville fell to 3-3-2 in Kingco 4A and 6-4-2 overall. North Creek improved to 2-5-1 in league play.

“The girls are disappointed for sure,” Reiter said. “They’re grinders, they work their butts off, they deserve the win, you know? And to lose is a hard lesson sometimes... It doesn’t make sense when you dominate and play well, and you can’t score and you end up losing. But [we will have] a good mindset as we go into the next game.”

The next game is Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Pop Keeney Stadium against Inglemoor. The Lady Vikings [7-0-1, 9-1-3) have already sewn up the regular season Kingco 4A crown.

Woodinville cannot afford another loss or its season will be over.

“We will come out with fire,” Reiter said. “We’ve got to lay everything on the field next week. We’ve got to get a win or a tie or we don’t advance. We’re in control of our own destiny.”

“Definitely a big game,” Krause said. “We have lots of friends on Inglemoor with whom we’ve played club. We’re going to go out there hard. We want to win.”