Liberty eyes return to 3A state title game

September 6, 2012

The Liberty High School girls soccer team came so close to victory in last year’s 3A state championship game.

At one point, the Patriots led the contest, 2-0. But ultimately, the team fell to an experienced Seattle Prep squad, 3-2.

As the Patriots embark on a new season with first-year coach Tami Nguyen, they appreciate the lessons they learned from that game, but they won’t be dwelling on the past this year.

“The game’s not over until the whistle blows,” senior captain Kiana Hafferty said. “We just have to keep playing the whole 90 minutes and not get too ahead of ourselves.”

Nguyen said that last year’s success guarantees nothing for the 2012 squad, so the team prefers to focus on the present.

“We are not talking a lot about last year,” Nguyen said. “We’re just starting from scratch and getting after it that way. It’s definitely a goal — we want to be up there at the end of the year playing our best soccer, but we are not really talking about last season.”

Nguyen comes to Liberty after a successful career coaching and playing at the collegiate level. The Liberty coach played soccer at the University of Washington, helping the Huskies capture the Pacific-10 Conference championship in 2000. Nguyen also spent time as an assistant coach with both Portland State University and the University of Washington.

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Hazen loses in first round at state, 5-0

May 31, 2012

Scoring two goals in the first three minutes, Bainbridge High School quickly set the tone for what became a 5-0 runaway over Hazen High School on May 16 at Renton Stadium in a first-round match of the Class 3A boys soccer tournament.

Sophomore Peter Fawley and junior Sebastian Scales put home close-range blasts to give fifth-ranked Bainbridge (14-2-4) irreversible early momentum as the Spartans cruised into the quarterfinals against top-ranked Shorewood.

Hazen finished 9-6-4.

“A quick start always makes it comfortable,” said Bainbridge coach George Vukic, whose team’s 12-match unbeaten streak ended last week when Lakeside scored twice in the first six minutes of a 2-1 victory over the Spartans. “It helps you get your rhythm and break the ice.”

The Spartans did that in the opening minutes, and followed with another close-in goal in the 23rd minute by Will Economy.

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Liberty boys soccer ends season with 2-1 loss

May 31, 2012

With a 2-1 loss to the Sammamish Totems, the Liberty High School’s boys soccer team ended its season in the first round of the KingCo 3A Tournament.

Sammamish’s Miguel Hernandez scored a goal off a Beau Blanchard assist in the 48th minute of the game, while Gio Sanchez added an unassisted goal in the 52nd minute to lead the Totems to the win over the Patriots.

Liberty’s Josh Johnson notched an unassisted goal in the 79th minute for the Patriots.


Patriots blank Mount Si, 3-0

May 3, 2012

By Calder Productions Connor Noblat (21), Liberty High School freshman, intercepts Mount Si High School senior defender Chace Carlson during the first period of their April 13 match.

Darren Tremblay had plenty of reason to be happy.

“It was a total team effort,” the Liberty boys soccer head coach said of the Patriots’ 3-0 win over Mount Si. “Every guy played well.”

The Patriots populated their back lines, playing the Wildcats with a 4-5-1, stifling the creativity of the Mount Si squad at three-fourths of the field. The Wildcats had one shot on goal.

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Local youth soccer teams make final rounds of state tourney

March 2, 2012

The Newport Lightning Cheetahs girls 11 and under soccer team took second place in the Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup championship game played Feb. 12, while the Newport FC Warriors boys 12 and under team played in the state semifinal game Feb. 11.

Both teams have players and coaches with deep links to Newcastle.

The Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup is the select level tournament with top select teams vying for the No. 1 spot from across the state.

Contributed by Brian Curl The Newport Lightning Cheetahs girls 11 and under soccer team took second place in the Washington Youth Soccer Founders Cup championship game played Feb. 12.

Coached by former Newcastle resident Brent Systma with players from Newcastle and the Newcastle area, the Newport Lightning Cheetahs may be the first recreational team to play in a Founders Cup final.

Playing in their fourth year together, the Cheetahs began outpacing their regular recreational competition and petitioned to play in the North Puget Sound League — the region’s main select league.

After wrapping up a successful 10-1-1 regular season, the Cheetahs entered the state cup tournament, winning all three of their bracket games against Seattle United, Kent United and Mercer Island FC.

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Liberty takes second at 3A state soccer championship game

December 1, 2011

After the Liberty High School girls soccer team dropped its first match of the season to the Skyline Spartans on Sept. 6, the Patriots made a commitment to themselves — and each other.

“We never wanted to feel that way again,” Liberty starting forward and co-captain Cassidy Nangle said.

Eighteen straight victories, including the 1-0 win against Eastside Catholic Nov. 18 to catapult Liberty into the 3A state championship game, brought the Patriots closer to their ultimate goal: a state title.

Kimi Fry (6), Liberty High School senior midfielder, battles Seattle Prep senior midfielder Sarah Schwaegler late during the second period Nov. 19 at Carl Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. By Greg Farrar

The Nov. 19 state championship at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup pitted experience against unfamiliarity as Liberty faced Seattle Prep, the defending state champions who have played in the title game five of the past six years.

It was Liberty’s first time in the final game in the school’s 34-year history.

After battling hard into the final seconds of the game, the Patriots fell to the Panthers, 3-2.

And although it was an emotional finish to end the season, especially for graduating seniors, Nangle said the experience of making it to the finals will have lasting implications for Liberty soccer.

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Liberty falls 3-2 to Seattle Prep, takes second at state

November 19, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 19, 2011

Battling into the last seconds of the game, the Liberty High School Patriots were defeated by the Seattle Prep Panthers 3-2 in the 3A state soccer championship game Nov. 19 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

After Liberty junior Kiana Hafferty found the back of the net with an assisted goal from senior Cassidy Nangle only two minutes into the game, sophomore Kali Youngdahl slipped a goal by Panthers goal keeper Abby Rockwell. Kimi Fry assisted the goal six minutes into the game.

Liberty coach Jamie Giger said being up 2-0 is often the one of the most difficult places to be in a competitive game.

“You feel comfortable,” she said. “You feel that you have the game…that’s just the way it goes. They came back. Give it to them, they played really hard when they were down.”

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Hazen soccer players selected for all-league team

November 11, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Nov. 11, 2011

The following Hazen High School players were selected for the Seamount League Girls soccer all-league team:

FIRST TEAM: F Brianne Sherin, So.; GK Pricilla Yu, Sr.; MF Sarah Schoville, Sr.; MF Dee Dee Green, Jr.

SECOND TEAM: D Courtney Kiteley, So.; D Gabby Brower, So.; F Marina Vaughn, Sr.; MF Melissa Carney, Jr.

HONORABLE MENTION: Chelsea Delgado, Cindy Hanson, Tyra Michaud, Kendall Michaud

Liberty girls soccer advances to state quaterfinals

November 9, 2011

NEW — 8:40 p.m., Nov. 9, 2011

With a 2-1 win over the Columbia River High School Chieftains, the Liberty Patriots advance to the quarterfinal match up in the state soccer tournament.

Liberty junior Kiana Hafferty gave the Patriots a quick 1-0 spark with an early goal in the first half.  Despite an aggressive pace set by the Chieftains throughout the first half, Liberty was able to maintain the 1-0 lead into halftime.

After Easton Kawawaki, a Chieftain sophomore, kicked a goal passed Patriot keeper Macaire Ament four minutes into the second half, Liberty senior and team co-captain Cassidy Nangle answered back with a game-winning goal for the Patriots.

“They’re a good team, I wouldn’t take that way from them at all,” Nagle said, “but with the heart on this team, we got it done.”

The Patriots will face their next opponents in the quarterfinals Nov. 12 at Liberty.


Patriot girls clinch the KingCo title, No. 1 seed

November 3, 2011

They’ve already wrapped up the KingCo Conference 3A/2A title Oct. 20 with a 5-3 victory against host Juanita.

They’ve already clinched the automatic No. 1 seed in the Class 3A state playoffs.

But make no mistake — the Liberty High School girls soccer team is still focused on the here and now.

Johnson, Liberty junior forward, fires her hat trick into the Juanita goal in the 74th minute Oct. 20, for the 5-3 margin of victory over the Rebels. By Greg Farrar Kailiana

“We’re not thinking about state yet,” Liberty junior Kailiana Johnson said. “We’ve been focusing on games coming up next week and then we’re going to focus on post-season during our off week and get prepared.”

The KingCo title is the second straight for the Patriots, who captured the league’s state 3A berth earlier in the week with a 3-0 win against Lake Washington.

This is the first time Liberty has won back-to-back titles since 2001, when the Patriots won their third straight KingCo title.

“Winning KingCo was No. 1 on our list,” Liberty coach Jaime Giger said. “Obviously we’re still looking at the next two games. I told the girls we’re not looking at state yet. I want to take care of this league. I want to win all of the games before us.”

In her first year at the helm for the team, Giger said she’s proud of the way the Patriots have gelled as a unit.

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