Women's soccer wins championship

By Jake Cassaday - Staff Reporter

The Lady Thunderbirds soccer team won their first NWAC Championship game since 1995 in a 1-0 victory over the Peninsula Pirates this past Sunday.

Having made the final for the third year in a row, the third time was the charm. 

"After finishing as runner-ups the past two years, the title was especially rewarding," said Highline Head Coach Tom Moore.   

Last year in the 2016 Championship Highline and Peninsula were also the last two teams competing for the NWAC title. Except this year it was Highline that brought home the rings. 

The game was all about defense. 

Highline entered the title game having allowed only five goals on the season and was facing one of the best offenses in the league. Peninsula averaged seven goals a game. 

In regular game time Peninsula took eight shots on goal and Highline took six.

Neither of the teams were able to penetrate each other's defense, carrying the game into overtime. 

At 52 seconds into overtime, Highline's Bella Keane threw the ball into play from 45 yards out, bouncing it to freshman Fiona Dawson just outside of the penalty box. Dawson hit it off her shoulder over to Jewel Boland. 

Boland controlled the ball while being challenged by defenders on her left and right. She easily lost them by pulling a 180, giving her a one-on-one with Peninsula's goalie. Help defenders began closing in but she struck the ball before they could contest it. 

The ball soared over Peninsula's goalie and the game was over.

Highline fans roared, and the T-Birds all rushed to Boland. 

Boland was quickly surrounded by her teammates as they jumped up and down, cheered, threw up the No. 1 and flexed their arms muscles to the crowd. 

Peninsula players dropped to the ground mournfully as they took second place.

After the game Boland was named the most valuable player for the tournament. 

"Our team accomplished so many goals not just team wise but personal goals as well and I'm proud of each and every person on the team," Boland said. 

Highline defender Tori Morton was awarded the most inspirational player of the tournament. 

Morton said she loved that while playing at Highline, "You get a huge mesh of people and personalities it's a great experience and I've learned a lot from these girls and my coaches."

It was the Pirates' first loss this season. They came into the finals at 19-0-0. 

Highline finished the season with a 18-0-2 record and their second ever NWAC championship trophy to the program.

Head Coach Tom Moore attributed the victory to determination. 

"We never felt rattled at all and were very confident. We were really focused on this game. I was not worried one minute of the game. [The players] shouldn't have been either," Moore said.

After regulation expired, Moore set out to bolster his squad.

"I told them 'you get one chance to end this game' and obviously they went out and did that and did great," Moore said.

Going into the game, Moore was concerned about his team's injuries. Highline tackled plenty of adversity for this game with injuries to key players. Even Boland had a heavily wrapped leg to start the game.

Moore said he relied on his coaching staff and a very deep roster to set the match up.

"I knew the matchup was going to be good. We had a couple key injuries leading up to this game so that put us in a little bit of a bind," Moore said.

"I wouldn't change anything about this game for the world," Moore said.

Two days earlier, the T-Birds took on 11-1-2 Clark in the semi-finals, and won in a shoot-out after going through double over time. 

Clark was the first to score but it was an own-goal by Highline. 

At the 59-minute mark, freshman midfielder McKenzie Buell scored for Highline off of a penalty kick. 

Seven minutes later, Dawson took a shot on goal from 35 yards out and blazed it over Clark's goalie, making it 2-1. 

Three minutes before the end, Clark scored. Sara Teubner bounced the ball into Highline's goal from 40 yards out off a foul kick to tie the game. 

"The amount of intensity and emotion that was on the field was a lot to handle," said Highline defender Tori Morton. 

The teams remained tied for the rest of the game, sending them into the shoot-out. 

Five players from each team alternated taking their shots on goal. 

For Clark Maddison Maffeo, Madison Ochao, and Jazmin Rojas were able to score. 

Sara Olanda, Jenna Jenson, and Fiona Dawson, made their shot for Highline. 

Highline's Emily Del Campo was the last to shoot she stepped up to the box with it being 3-3. She fired the ball, kept it low and to the far left, not allowing Clark's goalie to get a hand on it. 

Claiming the victory, she automatically turned around and started sprinting to her teammates. They celebrated with one another while their friends, family, and other supporters screamed for them in the stands. 

"I'm glad we held them off for as long as we did and came out on top," said freshman forward Jewel Boland.  

The Lady T-Birds don't plan on easing up next year.

"What's next for this team is I know they're going to want to go back and do it again next year," Moore said. "And I'm not going to stand in their way."

The team had to deal with adversity before the season even started and came out on top for a very emotional, yet confident win. Highline had also lost a highly recruited soccer player, Haylei Hughes, in July due to a tragic hiking accident. 

The Thunderbirds held up Hughes' jersey for the group championship picture.

No. 9 was there to share the celebration with her team.

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Learn all about Safe Zones

Allies of the LGBTQIA community along with faculty and staff will be hosting a Safe Zones training program, next month. Safe Zones is a program identifying individuals in the school community who are safe and supportive allies of LGTBQIA students and faculty. The Safe Zones training is put on by Highline’s Multicultural Affairs organization. The program is about learning more about the queer community and to build skills to use on the Highline campus and out in other communities. The LGBTQIA Taskforce has been working on creating a basic curriculum for the Safe Zones training that not only provides information that may seem basic or simple. Anyone is welcome to the Safe Zones training. The training will be June 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Writing Center, Building 26 room 319i.

Annual Vicom Portfolio Show is next week

Highline is hosting its annual portfolio show next week. Design students will show off their work and achievements on June 5 - 6. The show is in Building 8, Mt. Olympus room from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

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The annual vote for Highline’s Outstanding Faculty Awards has been extended June 5. The Highline College Foundation provides two $1,500 awards to be presented to Highline College’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year. Nominations can be made by any student, staff member, faculty member or administrator of Highline. A person may make only one nomination for each award. Further detainominations need to consist of written statements from both the nominator and then a second reference that gives specific emphasis to the nominee’s contribution to education at Highline. Nominations need to be submitted to the Selection Committee in the Office of Instruction, Mailstop 9-2, by 5 p.m. on June 5.

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