TUKWILA — The NWAC sports commentator recited the names of all 40 players on Highline College’s roster and the 25 on Clark’s before the two teams jogged to their starting positions, anxiously awaiting for the game to begin.
Once it did, head coach Sean Janson said the field at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila became “a battle.”
Clark women’s soccer team placed third in the NWAC after losing a 4-3 penalty kick shootout to Highline in the semifinals on Friday. The match finished 2-2 in regulation.
Clark held an early 1-0 lead in the nailbiter, scoring a goal 12 minutes into the match. But the Penguins fell behind 2-1 in the second half. Then, a goal by Clark’s Sarah Teubner in the 85th minute forced the game into a overtime before leading into a penalty kick shootout.
Teubner played the game with a broken left foot. While it hurt, she said she was happy to compete.
“Every time I take the boot off I know I’m doing it for the right reasons,” Teubner said. “Honestly, if I got shot I would still be on the field with them.”
Janson said he was fortunate to be a part of this year’s group despite Friday’s loss.
“I have never felt so proud of a loss in my entire life, especially one of this magnitude,” he said.
Janson said Friday’s semifinals loss was a “180-degree difference” from last year’s quarterfinal defeat. He said last year the team went into postseason play believing they were going to win, but this year they had no preconceived thoughts on the outcome.
“I thought this was the best game we’ve played all year,” he said.
Freshman Maggie Higgins was goalkeeper throughout the game. She made nine saves including one in the shootout. She said she’s especially hyped for the next season.
“I want to get to finals next year. I want to take it all the way,” she said.
Higgins said that if next year’s team plays like they did at semis and evolves from there, then they have a strong chance to win it all.
Clark finished it’s 2017 season with 11 wins and one loss, while capturing the Southern division title for the second year in a row.
Highline goes up against Peninsula College on Sunday in the final. Peninsula, which defeated Tacoma 4-0 in the second semifinal, beat Highline in last year’s championship game. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m.
Ainslie Cromar and Riley Clarke write for The Independent, Clark College’s student newspaper. This story was written as part of a collaboration with The Columbian called Voices From Clark College.