Busy day for me. Two hours ago, I was at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood covering Southridge's 1-0 win over Prairie that earned the Suns a third place trophy at the 3A state championships.
Now I'm here at the beautiful Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila for the first of four NWAACC semifinal matches. The Walla Walla Community College women are taking on Bellevue (13-2-4) on the main field.
The Warriors (18-0-2) are looking for their sixth consecutive trip to the NWAACC championship match. They won their first-ever NWAACC title last season.
WWCC has averaged over four goals a match this year, scoring 87 in 20 games — a clip of 4.4 per game — and they're about on par with that through one half, taking a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes.
Brittney Lacey scored the first one for the Warriors in the 25th minute, corralling a loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box after a corner kick by Justine Jones. Lacey, the Warriors' right outside defender, then lifted a left-footed shot over Bulldogs' goalkeeper Brianna Jackson for a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, WWCC made it 2-0 after Pasco graduate Kaylie Winston pulled the trigger from 20 yards out from the left side. Jackson stopped the shot, but the rebound bounced to the right post, where Jones was there to punch it home.
Second half about to begin. I found out that Clackamas beat Spokane in the previous semifinal 3-2 in a shootout. Here's the kicker, though: Spokane let a 2-0 lead slip away in the final 24 minutes of regulation and then went 0-for-3 on their penalty kick attempts. That's a brutal way to lose.
So the winner of this match faces Clackamas at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Oh and by the way, Jones just scored again three minutes into the second half, giving Walla Walla a commanding 3-0 lead. The Warriors have only given up nine goals all season. The chance of them giving up three in the second half are pretty slim.
Walla Walla tacks on two more five minutes apart to pull ahead 5-0. I'm going to have to ask Chad Bodnar if this is the best team he's ever had. It's not an easy question for any coach to answer, and I don't expect Chad will answer that directly. But from what I've seen, this is the best Warriors team I've ever seen from top to bottom.
Bellevue got a late goal to make it 5-1 and avoid the shutout. But it's all over but the crying.
Now it's official: I can book my hotel for another day. WWCC wins it 5-1. The Warriors will face Clackamas for the NWAACC championship.