On Nov. 10, the Auburn Mountainview Lions fell by a score of 1-0 to Mountlake Terrace High School at Edmonds Stadium. Auburn Mountainview was playing their first state tournament playoff game for the first time since 2014 snapping a seven year drought. Over the seven year span, the Lions have had an over .500 record at 50-47-9.
It was the biggest game of either team’s season up to this point, and was the coldest night of the year since the middle of April. Just to get to this game, Auburn Mountainview had to beat Kelso or else they would be sent home before state, they won the game by the smallest margin 1-0 securing their appearance at the state tournament.
The game started off with both teams attempting to control the pace of play, looking for early opportunities to take advantage of their opponent. Mountlake Terrace junior Natalie Cardin was the early threat for the Hawks putting two early shots on goal. The second, Mountainview goalie senior Emily Henry needed every inch of reach to send it over the crossbar for a Hawk corner.
For the Lions, their best opportunity would come midway through the first half. A free kick from senior Savannah Olguin gave the Mountlake keeper all she could handle, making an incredible save sending the ball out of bounds keeping the Lions off the scoreboard.
Mountainview dominated possession throughout the first half, applying constant pressure to the Hawk backline. The only Mountlake pressure in the first half was from Cardin who would continue to be a pest to the Lions. The first half ended scoreless.
To start the second half, the play was very similar to the end of the first. Mountainview continued to pass the ball and keep possession. A great opportunity presented itself for senior Lyla Merte, as she found a cross inside the 18-yard box and just hit the shot wide.
The lone goal of the game was scored by Mountlake, Cardin was of course involved as she was showing explosiveness all game. Cardin found her sophomore teammate Ally Villalobos Van Slooten who kicked it into the upper left corner putting the hawks on top 1-0.
The Lions did not fold by any stretch of the imagination after the goal, they kept putting pressure on the Hawk defense and goalie. The play from Lion sophomore Keirah Hope and junior Lily McMullen was exceptional down the stretch. Hope found space at the top of the 18-yard box putting a good shot on goal but a solid save was made by the Hawk keeper. For McMullen she was a threat down the right side of the field until the final whistle. Sending cross after cross in front of the goal looking for someone to be at the end of one of them for the equalizer. They were not, and the final whistle blew, ending Mountainview’s season.
The last few minutes were a description of the Lions season all year, “We struggle with scoring goals ultimately, it has been the story of our season. Dominating on the field and not finishing. I think we outplayed this team tonight…It is just hard when you can’t finish”, said Head Coach Joey West.
In the shadow of Auburn Riverside’s excellence, Auburn Mountainview had a great season of their own. Coach West wanted to get the most out of his players “ A lot of these girls have played soccer their entire lives, all it is about is inspiring them to play to the best of their abilities and they have done that and continued to do that. I am proud of them.”
The Lions had an incredible season, battling game in and game out. They played very well and hope to have another solid season next year.