Like the dominance the Union High girls soccer team has shown all season, winning the program’s first league title since 2012 and conceding just six goals all season, in no way did it let up now the postseason is here.
“We really want to be here longer,” said midfielder Annabelle Nguyen, “and keep playing together.”
Union got its wish after Thursday’s 4-0 shutout of Todd Beamer out of Federal Way in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest at Union High School. The Titans (11-2-3) clinch their second state berth in three seasons and faces Auburn Riverside at noon Saturday at Olympia’s Ingersoll Stadium in a state seeding game. Beamer’s loss ends its season at 7-8-3.
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, Union is guaranteed a home state playoff game next week either on its new turfed field — where its played all season — or at McKenzie Stadium.
Thursday, Union had a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals by Lexi Raymore (18th minute) and Tina Moore (37th), and dominated much of the possessions the final 40 minutes. The Titans earned two free kicks in a 3-minute stretch when Audrey Moehring connected off a free kick by Nguyen. Freshman Sydney Young capped the scoring in the 76th minute from a shot 10 yards out.
Once again, the defense showed its strength by posting its 10 consecutive shutout and 12th on the year.
In fact, not allowing goals have been a theme through 16 games and didn’t tallow a goal through its perfect 4A GSHL season. The Titans have only conceded six goals all season and none since a Sept. 21 loss to Sumner, 2-1.
As strong as the backline is, senior defender Macee Woods said, the credit starts with goalkeeper Taylor Tinnon. She posted two saves.
“She’s what keeps us whole,” Woods said of Tinnon. “Our backline is fantastic. We cover each other and now how to play together, but it’s here that makes us the glue.”
The Titans know their biggest matches are yet to come, and plan to take a page from Thursday moving forward.”
“You get to these biggest games and it’s a mental game not a physical game,” Woods said. “You want to have that mindset and keep it. That’s our next step is keeping this mentality.”