Kamiakin, Southridge lay it on line today for state soccer berth

November 2, 2012 

Even though the Kamiakin girls soccer team has beaten Southridge in two games this season, both by a 2-1 score, both coaches agree that none of that matters now.

Now that the two teams will meet at noon today at Lampson Stadium with a Class 3A state playoff berth on the line, everything is back to even now between the longtime rivals.

“I think the playoffs is a whole new ballgame,” Braves coach Chris Erikson said. “Both teams are raring to go.”

Kamiakin (14-2-1) is coming off a 2-0 loss to Mt. Spokane in the Class 3A regional championship, a game played on a short, wet field that negated the Braves’ speed advantage. They’ll be at full speed on the field turf at Lampson.

But the Suns (7-9) have found a new gear, too, after a pair of playoff victories, including Thursday’s 1-0 road win over Hanford to stay alive.

“We changed our style for the playoffs,” Southridge coach Greg Sambrano said after outplaying the Falcons in the second half. “It makes me think we should have played that way all year.”

The winner will face today’s Nathan Hale-Mercer Island winner in the first round of the state tournament beginning Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kamiakin features three first-team all-MCC selections in forward Ellie Heiden (13 goals), midfielder Brianna Turley and defender Lauren McKinney.

Southridge has two first-team selections in midfielder Hannah Sanders (9 g, 5 a) and defender Emma Sanders.

“We have to watch out for Hannah and Emma,” Erikson said. “They serve really good balls from the back, and we have to be able to win possession.”

Mead at Richland, 1 p.m., Bomber Field: The Bombers (12-5) are looking for redemption against the Panthers (11-4) after a 1-0 loss to Central Valley in Tuesday’s Class 4A regional championship.

Kirsten Calmus (16 g, 7 a) and Samantha Heilman (12 g, 10 a) lead the Bombers’ offense, while Serena Robertson anchors the defense behind goalkeeper Samantha Beck (7 shutouts).

Richland seeks its first trip to state since 2007, while Mead went last season, losing a first-round match to Central Valley.

The winner will host today’s winner between South Kitsap and Kentridge.

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