Girls soccer: Decatur headed to state quarterfinals after 2-0 win over Mount Spokane: Southridge next

The five-hour drive from Federal Way to Spokane and spending Monday night in a hotel didn’t seem to phase the Decatur girls soccer team.

The Gators (12-5-1) notched their third loser-out win in a row during the postseason Tuesday with a 2-0 shutout of Mount Spokane High School at Joe Albi Stadium in the opening round of the 16-team Class 3A State Girls Soccer Tournament.

“It was a great win for these girls and this program,” said Decatur head coach Christy Overby. “The girls handled the travel with style.”

Now, the Gators will only have to drive a couple miles down the road Saturday, Nov. 13, when they host Southridge High School at Federal Way Memorial Stadium in the state quarterfinals at 6 p.m.

Against Mount Spokane, the winners of the 3A Eastern Washington Region, the Gators took advantage of a first-half goal from Hannah Herbert and stellar goalkeeping from Kayla Lipston and the backline defense of Alex Bush, Sydney Patin, Maggie Hale and Sierra Shugarts to sink the Wildcats on their home field.

Decatur also added a penalty-kick goal off the foot of Abby McFaul midway through the second half to finalize the score.

“To be honest, the entire team has stepped it up and brought this team to another level,” Overby said.

Mount Spokane (10-7-0) actually controlled the ball for a bulk of the first half of play, but couldn’t get anything by Lipston and the Gator defense.

“The girls had to work some nerves out in the first 15 minutes,” Overby said. “But after that, they settled in and they got better as the match progressed. It was wonderful to get the first goal because it does take a bit of the edge off.”

Herbert’s goal came in the 17th minute of the game on a pass from Victoria Braun. The score was the junior’s third of the postseason. Herbert tallied both of Decatur’s goals during a 2-0 Gator win over Wilson at the West Central District Tournament last week. She has eight goals and four assists on the season.

But it was McFaul’s penalty kick late in the second half that demoralized Mount Spokane and pushed the Gators into the state quarterfinals in the school’s first season as a Class 3A school. Decatur advanced into the state tournament 11 times as a 4A school and last played in the quarterfinals in 2006. McFaul leads the Gators with 12 goals this year.

Now, Decatur’s attention is turned toward Southridge, who will be making the long trek from Kennewick Saturday with a berth into the 3A state semifinals on the line.

Southridge earned the final-eight berth after beating Hanford Tuesday, 2-0, for their first-ever state tournament victory. The Suns (15-4-0) are led by forwards Paige Sorensen and Heather Johnson. Sorensen tallied both goals during Tuesday’s win and has 13 in Southridge’s last 10 games. Johnson finished with 25 goals and 14 assists during the season, including one Tuesday.

Southridge shared the Columbia Basin Big Nine 3A league title with Hanford, but lost to Mount Spokane last weekend in the Eastern Washington regional championship game, 3-2.

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