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Lindsey Roberts, a four-year starter for Coupeville soccer, closed her prep pitch career Wednesday night. (Photo by Jackie Saia)

The final night was a stunner.

The North Sound Conference closed out its inaugural girls soccer season Wednesday, and upsets in two of three games threw the playoff picture out of whack.

South Whidbey shocked King’s 2-0 to give the defending 1A state champs their only league loss, while Sultan, which had been win-less in conference play for much of the year, beat Cedar Park Christian 1-0 for the Turks second win in a week.

All that, combined with Coupeville falling 5-1 at Granite Falls, flipped the league’s #2 and #3 playoff seeds and knocked the Wolves out of the #5 slot, ending their season without a postseason game.

King’s (9-1), South Whidbey (7-3), Granite Falls (7-3), CPC (4-6) and Sultan (2-8) advance to the modified double-elimination district playoffs against teams from the Northwest Conference, while Coupeville (1-9) stays home.

The Wolves, who finished 2-12-1 overall, with wins over Sultan and Port Townsend and a tie against Friday Harbor, entered the night holding a tiebreaker on Sultan for the final playoff berth.

While both teams had one win, coming against each other (CHS won 6-0 on their field, Sultan won 1-0 on theirs), the Wolves were a point up in the standings because of getting extra credit for a double-overtime loss to CPC.

That advantage vanished, however, when the Turks pulled out a nail-biter in the final regular season game.

Meanwhile, playing in Granite Falls, Coupeville got a first-half goal from junior Avalon Renninger, her third of the season, but it wasn’t enough to topple the rough ‘n tumble Tigers.

The loss turned out to be the final prep soccer game for four Wolf seniors, as Ema Smith, Maddy Hilkey, Lindsey Roberts and Sarah Wright depart.

The cupboard isn’t bare, however, as five of the six players who scored during the 2018 season can return next year, when it appears very likely Coupeville will drop from 1A to 2B.

 

Final scoring totals:

Genna Wright – 7
Lindsey Roberts – 4
Avalon Renninger – 3
Anna Dion – 2
Mallory Kortuem – 2
Tia Wurzrainer – 1

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Ema Smith was one of four Coupeville High School soccer stars honored Monday during Senior Night festivities. (Photos by Jackie Saia)

Lindsey Roberts hangs out with part of her vast family.

Sarah Wright (3) and lil’ sister Genna are joined by their parental units.

Maddy Hilkey has both grandma and mom with her on her big night.

The Fab Four and their coach for the past two seasons, Kyle Nelson.

Roberts lets mom Sherry get at least one hug in.

Hilkey exits with a laugh.

The Fab Four closed one chapter Monday, but they’re not done yet.

Playing at home for the final time in their prep soccer careers, Coupeville High School booters Ema Smith, Maddy Hilkey, Lindsey Roberts and Sarah Wright were honored on Senior Night, then went out fighting.

While the Wolves fell 3-0 to visiting South Whidbey, CHS, and its veteran leaders, have at least one, and possibly many more, games left this season.

Coupeville, which sits at 1-8 in North Sound Conference play, 2-11-1 overall, travels to Granite Falls (6-3, 7-6-1) Wednesday for the regular season finale.

The Wolves are tied with Sultan (1-8, 5-10) for fifth-place, and the last playoff slot, from the six-team league.

Except, because this is soccer and everything needs to be extra-complicated, Coupeville is actually a point up on the Turks, since one of their league losses came in double overtime.

If the Wolves hold on to the #5 slot — Sultan plays Cedar Park Christian (4-5, 7-7) Wednesday — they open the modified double-elimination district tourney Oct. 22.

Coupeville’s playoff game would be at the home of the #3 NSC school (either Granite or South Whidbey), and would be a loser-out affair.

Win, and the Wolves play Oct. 24, still on the road, one victory away from advancing to bi-districts or one loss from packing up their gear.

Everyone confused? Good, there will be a test later.

Facing off with their Island rivals for the second time this season Monday, the Wolves battled South Whidbey (6-3, 8-5-1) almost to a standstill in the first half.

The Falcons slipped home a goal right before the break, then tacked on two more in the second half to sweep the season series from Coupeville.

“The girls played real well, just not quite with the energy we needed to pull out a win,” said Wolf coach Kyle Nelson.

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Mallory Kortuem leads the charge Thursday as Coupeville and Cedar Park Christian waged a double overtime thriller. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Showing off their support for cancer research on Pink Night, the Wolves played under blue skies.

Ema Smith gets her head into the game.

Leaving the goalie in her dust, Anna Dion slaps home a goal.

Everything but the win.

Playing on a night when they raised awareness for cancer research, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team put together quite a show for the local fans.

Led by two more goals from rampaging sophomore sensation Genna Wright, the Wolves pushed visiting Cedar Park Christian to the very limit, before falling 4-3 in double overtime.

The Eagles slipped in the winning score with just over a minute left to play, averting a draw and keeping CHS locked in a tie for the final playoff berth out of the North Sound Conference.

With the narrow loss, the Wolves fall to 1-7 in league play, 2-10-1 overall.

Coupeville, which has two games left — Senior Night against South Whidbey Oct. 15 and a road trip to Granite Falls Oct. 17 — is tied with Sultan (1-7).

King’s (8-0) clinched the league title Thursday with a 2-1 win over Granite Falls (5-3), while South Whidbey (5-3) moved into a second-place tie with a 7-0 shellacking of Sultan.

With its win, Cedar Park Christian (4-4) sits in fourth-place.

Five of six teams from the North Sound Conference advance to the double-elimination district tourney, which starts Oct. 22, with the #5 seed drawing King’s in the first round.

If Coupeville and Sultan finish the regular season in a tie, they will meet Saturday, Oct. 20 to decide who will be the #5 seed.

The game will be on the turf in Sultan, thanks to a blind draw to determine tiebreaker hosts.

While the Wolves would have preferred a win Thursday, CHS coach Kyle Nelson was happy to see his team bounce back after a rough road loss earlier in the week.

“One of our best games, bringing things together,” he said. “It was an exciting back and forth game; we had more opportunities and they capitalized on some free kicks.”

Wright smacked a pair of goals into the back of the net to pace the Wolves, her sixth and seventh of her sophomore season.

That gives her 17 for her career, tying her with Lindsey Roberts for the lead among active players, and moving her halfway to the Wolf girls program record of 35 goals by Mia Littlejohn.

Coupeville’s other goal came from junior Anna Dion, who recorded her second score of the season.

 

To see everything John Fisken shot Thursday, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Soccer-2018-2019/GS-2018-10-11-vs-CPC/

When you do, remember, purchases help fund scholarships for two CHS senior student/athletes.

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Ema Smith and her Wolf teammates scrapped on the turf in Sultan Tuesday, but the Turks escaped with a 1-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A change in field, a change in results.

Playing on turf in Sultan Tuesday, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team had trouble finding its scoring touch and absorbed a painful 1-0 loss to the host Turks.

It was a complete reversal from the first time the two teams played on Whidbey, when the Wolves scorched Sultan 6-0 while playing on a natural grass surface.

The loss drops Coupeville to 1-6 in North Sound Conference action, 2-9-1 overall, and will make it harder, but not impossible, for the Wolves to nab a playoff spot.

Five of the six teams in the new league advance to the postseason, and a CHS win would have put it two games up on Sultan (also now 1-6) with three to play.

Instead, the two teams are now locked in a tie for the final playoff berth, two games back of the league’s #4 team, Cedar Park Christian (3-4).

King’s (7-0), Granite Falls (5-2) and South Whidbey (4-3) currently hold down the top three slots.

Tuesday’s tilt on the Turk turf was one of those cases where a lot of small things build up and create bigger issues.

Coupeville’s roster is battling illness, there were no assistant refs on the scene, leaving one man to monitor the entire field, and then there was the faster surface, with its often unexpected bounces.

“We had a difficult time adjusting. Definitely slowed us down,” Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson said. “Throw in no AR’s, and a few sick girls, and we had a recipe for a bad game going.”

And yet the Wolves fought from start to finish, with their defense doing everything possible.

Wolf defender Tia Wurzrainer was a fireball in the backfield, shutting down Sultan strikers and stopping one shot on goal by sacrificing her own body, absorbing the force of the shot as she tumbled backwards.

With goalie Sarah Wright standing tall in the net, and Wurzrainer’s fellow defenders, like freshman Mary Milnes, keeping the Turks at bay, the game went into the half in a scoreless tie.

Sultan finally broke the seal on the net eight minutes into the second half, thanks to a bad bounce and a smooth move by its senior captain.

Coupeville lost control of the ball while sending it up-field, and the Turks took advantage.

Faith Kindle, with the ball on her toe, slid to the left, then dumped a ball back to the right, just squeezing it into the corner of the net at the last second for what would turn out to be the game’s only score.

The Wolves kept forcing the issue, with Lindsey Roberts smashing long balls and Genna Wright and Avalon Renninger fighting to get off a few shots, but Sultan’s defense proved up to the challenge.

Turk goalie Amanda McKay made a couple of nice snags to blunt Coupeville’s best scoring chances, and the Wolves couldn’t buy a break as the final minutes ticked away.

CHS gets to get back to playing on grass for its next two games.

The Wolves host Cedar Park Christian Thursday and South Whidbey Oct. 15, before traveling to Granite Falls Oct. 17 for the regular season finale.

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Sophomore Genna Wright tops the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad with five goals. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There’s usually two ways to look at things.

There is no doubt scoring is down for the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad this season.

After stringing together three consecutive years of 30+ goals as a team, topping out with a 47-goal explosion in 2016, the current Wolves seem unlikely to reach those heights.

The 2018 squad has tallied 15 scores through its first 11 games.

With just four regular-season games left on the schedule, plus (hopefully) a postseason appearance, the Wolves would have to radically ramp up their scoring to keep the streak alive.

But, the first of those four games comes Tuesday at Sultan, against a Turks team Coupeville ravaged for six goals the first time around.

And, tack on just four more scores before the season is over and done, and the current team will still have the fourth-best showing of any Wolf squad from the last decade.

 

How CHS girls soccer teams have scored in the past 10 seasons:

2018 — 15 and counting
2017 — 43
2016 — 37
2015 — 33
2014 — 18
2013 — 11
2012 — 8
2011 — 6
2010 — 16
2009 — 15

 

And here’s who has hit the back of the net during the 2018 season:

Genna Wright — 5
Lindsey Roberts 
— 4
Mallory Kortuem
— 2
Avalon Renninger
— 2
Anna Dion
— 1
Tia Wurzrainer
 — 1

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