Eagles reach final 8 in state


Associate editor

Forget glass slippers. Apparently, Cinderella wears adidas. The Federal Way girls soccer team, which was the SPSL’s lowest seed into the playoffs, kept its unbelievable postseason alive and earned a place among the final eight teams in the state — and it was the last team standing in the playoffs among all its SPSL counterparts.

“They have heart, they want it and they make it happen when they’re faced with losing at the end of the game,” Federal Way’s first-year coach Carrie Boers said. “We tend to come back late in the game.”

The Eagles (12-4-4) looked to continue their winning ways against Eastlake (12-2-1) in a quarterfinal game last night.

The winner plays at Lakewood Stadium Nov. 22 against the winner of the Mead versus Richland game.

“Actually I did (think we would make it this far),” Boers said. “Because I tend to think whether you’re the best or the worst you can make it happen if you want it. I guess you could say I’m more of an optimist. If you look at who we have and who other teams have and who the best was last year, you could say no way did we expect to get this far. But I’ve always believed we had a chance.”

The Eagles needed a shootout to dethrone defending state champ Tahoma Tuesday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The game was scoreless throughout regulation and two overtime periods. Federal Way won the shootout 3-2, with Hannah Bridges, Megan Price and Ashlyn White scoring for Federal Way.

Federal Way senior goalkeeper Nina Kupu made three saves, including the one that sealed the win.

“That was just unreal,” Boers said of Kupu’s performance in the shootout. “With those three saves you’d think she’d been training in goal for 10 years. She was amazing.”

Kupu wasn’t even a goalkeeper coming into the season, but stepped into the role because the team needed somebody.

“I came in to the first practice and asked, ‘Who’s the goalie?’ ” Boers said. “Some of the girls said, ‘We don’t have one, but we think Nina would be good.’ ”

Kupu has had the job all season, although on her weekly goal sheet she often writes that she would rather play in the field and doesn’t want to be stuck back in the goal.

“But I think she might like it now,” Boers said.

Against Tahoma, the Eagles had a few scoring opportunities in regulation time, including a header by Bridges that hit the cross bar, but couldn’t find the net.

It was the fourth loser-out game Federal Way played in the past two weeks.

Federal Way beat Decatur in a shootout to earn a place in the SPSL tournament, then came back from a 2-0 deficit with eight minutes left to defeat Auburn Riverside 3-2 in double overtime. The Eagles then came from behind to upset Bellarmine Prep, the No. 6 ranked team in the nation, 2-1 last Saturday.

Add to that Tuesday’s win over Tahoma.

“It’s almost a surreal experience,” Boers said. “We’re loving every minute of it.”

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