Lady T-Birds fall in finals

By Konner Hancock - Staff Reporter

The Highline women's soccer team lost in the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship.

The Lady T-Birds first faced off against the Spokane Sasquatch in the semifinals and won 1-0. Then they advanced into the finals where they battled No. 1 Peninsula but eventually lost 1-0 in overtime.

Spokane and Highline last met back on the first game of the season, where Spokane came away as the victors, 2-0.

Both of the defenses improved since that early season game. The teams went into the semifinals ranked No. 2 (Highline) and No. 3 in goals allowed on the season.

The T-Birds defeated the Sasquatch and moved on to face the Peninsula Pirates for the NWAC championship.

"One team had to lose, and on this day it was us. There was no special circumstance that led to the loss. That's the nature of this game and any competition there is a winner and a loser that's where tremendous growth happens. It helps us become better people,

regardless of the outcome," said Thomas Moore, Highline head coach.

This is the second consecutive year that Highline has made it into the finals and came up just shy of a first place trophy.

"I thought Peninsula did a great job of coming out with a lot of energy and sustaining that for the first half. Once we were able to regroup at halftime, I think you got to see a better game from us that more suits who we are," said Moore.

Before this game both teams had only given up nine goals all season with the bulk of Peninsula's allowed goals coming from their two friendly games. They allowed only two goals in the regular season.

Both teams played the first and second half completely scoreless, moving them into overtime where in the 103rd minute Peninsula's Bri Vallente scored a point blank shot.

The Pirates were able to break through the T-Birds defense. It was bound to happen that one team's defense would slip up at some point, said Moore.

"I can go back and think of a thousand things that I could have made different decisions on. But that is the life of a coach after a big game, especially a loss," he said.

Highline had six players voted onto the South West region All-Star team, forward Chentay Warnes, forward Bianca Acuario, midfielder Destiny Guerra, defender Sierra Leach, defender Maya Gray and goalkeeper Rachel Thompson.

"I'm unbelievably proud of this group. They have achieved things that most teams can only dream of," said Moore.

"We set records, we came together during times of adversity, and we did what we always strive to do in a game compete and give ourselves a chance to win at the end. It was a remarkable year, one that I can only hope the girls can appreciate even with a tough loss at the end," he said.

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