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Audrianna Shaw played big Thursday, as CHS soccer won a 1-0 thriller to earn a home playoff game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anna Dion, seen on Senior Night, scored the night’s only goal.

Home cookin’ paid off nicely.

Coupeville and Sultan played three high school girls soccer games this fall, with the host team coming out on top 1-0 each time.

Good news for Wolf fans? The final two meetings, including one Thursday night in a league tie-breaker, were played on Whidbey Island.

With a playoff berth at stake, CHS senior Anna Dion survived a wild scrum in front of the net in stoppage time, bashing in the night’s only goal in a must-win game.

With the victory, Coupeville, which sits at 2-12-2, earns the North Sound Conference’s fifth, and final, ticket to the postseason.

While Sultan is left to plan its awards banquet, the Wolves host the #4 seed from the Northwest Conference Saturday at Mickey Clark Field.

Kickoff is 1 PM, the game is free of charge to the public, and the opponent will be Mount Baker, which is 0-16 on the season.

The winner of Saturday’s royal rumble advances to play Cedar Park Christian in another loser-out district playoff game Monday in Bothell.

Thursday night’s tilt featured two very evenly-matched teams, especially with the Wolves missing injured starters Genna Wright, Natalie Hollrigel, and Sophia Martin.

Even minus that trio, Coupeville has a better offense than Sultan, but the Turks counter with senior goaltender Amanda McKay, who lets very, very little get past her.

“She is an awesome goalie,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “I think she might be the best in the league.”

With the Wolves peppering her with shots, or, in the case of Avalon Renninger, flat-out blowing her up in an inadvertent collision (more on that later), McKay was under constant attack.

You’d never know it, however, as the Turk net-minder played calmly, moved smoothly, anticipated nearly everything, and gave her team a fighting chance.

On the opposite side of the field, Coupeville junior goalie Mollie Bailey didn’t face as many shots, but stood just as tall.

Playing for all the generations of her family which have worn the Wolf colors (spoiler: it’s a lot), the prairie legend dove for balls, deflected shots, and made a superb snag to deny a Turk corner kick which got dangerously close to hitting pay-dirt.

Bailey had help from her defense, anchored by old-school warrior Tia Wurzrainer and new-school sensations Nezi Keiper and Carolyn Lhamon.

Toss in Audrianna Shaw, who spent much of the night knocking Sultan players on their butt, and Coupeville was in full-on lock-down mode.

But while the Wolves kept one half of the scoreboard sitting with a nice big zero on it, all the shooters in the world didn’t seem able to break McKay.

Mallory Kortuem, zipping in and out of traffic, ball on her foot as she out-raced Turk defenders, crashed the net hard, while Renninger rifled high, arcing shots off of her golden left foot.

To which McKay replied, “Denied. Denied. And denied some more.”

Right after making a sensational diving save on a Kortuem shot with four minutes left in the first half, Sultan’s goalie found herself down on the ground and in a bit of a jam.

Renninger, rampaging in front of the net, went up and over McKay, doing a gymnast-worthy flip, only to see her foe vacuum up her potential game-busting goal while prone on the ground.

Popping back up, Coupeville’s effervescent captain stopped long enough to pat Sultan’s goaltender on the back, one classy competitor acknowledging another, then rambled off to create havoc elsewhere.

With the game knotted at 0-0 at the break, the teams, playing less than 24 hours after the regular-season finales, upped the intensity in the second half.

Renninger launched shot after shot, with a free kick from the left side of the field her best opportunity, but McKay wouldn’t break.

And neither would Bailey, one eye on the clock, one eye searching for any photographers who might be snapping her photo.

Casual fans were on the edge of their seats.

Die-hard soccer nuts were under their seats, pleading for a miracle.

And the game seemed destined to head to sudden-death overtime. Possibly even all the way to a penalty-kick shootout.

Neither goalie would crack.

Neither goalie would bend.

Neither goalie would be beaten.

Until it happened, with the clock frozen at 2:00, no one but the lead ref knowing how much time remained in regulation.

Launching a fierce assault on the net, Coupeville sent everyone in uniform (seemingly), while Sultan’s defenders made the kind of final stand made famous by the Spartans once upon a time.

As the scrum erupted, bodies were everywhere, arms swinging, legs pumping, the ball pinging from foot to knee, and then, in the madness, a heroine arose.

Dion, whose brilliant scientific mind will carry her far, has devoted the past four years of her life to the CHS soccer program, a role player willing to sacrifice for others, always the first to celebrate the accomplishments of her teammates.

She’s scored in three of her four seasons, missing out just as a sophomore, but, at a little before 6 PM on a balmy Whidbey Thursday night late in October, 2019, she created the moment which will cement her legacy with Wolf fans.

The ball disappeared into a sea of humanity, McKay lunged, and Anna “The Turk Killer” Dion, fighting just to stay on her feet in the crush, slid her foot under the ball and slapped it past the incoming Sultan goalie.

For one moment, one small, shining slice of time, everything went dead quiet.

And then utter bedlam broke, as Dion’s shot was welcomed by the back of the net, and Anna herself went to the ground, mobbed by a pack of teammates intent on crushing her in their glee.

The stadium shook, the pitch quaked, and, off on the far sideline, Coupeville’s coach, the coolest cat in Cow Town, nodded ever so slightly and smiled, but just a bit.

Ever the strategist, Nelson knew there were still a few ticks left on the clock, a small shard of time for the Wolf defense to withstand a final Turk assault.

If he worried, he need not have bothered, as his hyped-up squad retained control of the ball after Dion’s score, refusing to give Sultan a chance.

Instead, the Wolves rattled off two more shots on goal of their own before the final whistle blared.

Neither went in, but it mattered not.

Anna Dion had already conquered the world, and taken her team along for the wild ride.

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Teo Keilwitz and Anna Dion captured first place Saturday at the Science Olympiad regionals in Seattle. (Photos by Neil Rixe)

Ian Silvester (left) and Jakobi Baumann show off their 5th place ribbons.

Dion was a busy bee, placing in the Top 10 in four events. Here she’s with Maddy Andrews after they competed in forensics.

Ricky Rebischke-Smith and Madison Rixe have “The Wright Stuff.”

It was a long, but successful day.

After pulling out of the Coupeville High School parking lot at 5 AM Saturday, a group of Wolf students went on to tear up the Science Olympiad regional competition.

The Northwest Region event, held at the University of Washington, was a super-sized version, with 39 teams vying for medals and ribbons.

Repping one of the smallest schools in attendance, the Wolves claimed eight top 10 finishes, including a gold medal in “Mission Possible,” and finished 16th overall, narrowly missing out on a trip to state.

The top 13 schools advance to the big (science) dance Apr. 13.

If the event had been broken down by classification, Coupeville would be a regional champ, having finished with the best performance (394 points) of any 1A school.

But it was instead a free-for-all, pitting ginormous 4A schools and prestigious specialty institutions against the scrappy whiz kids from Cow Town.

Seven of the top 15 finishers, including regional champ Bothell, are 4A schools, while three hail from 3A and another three from 2A.

Then there’s Raisbeck Aviation High School, which had teams claim 4th and 6th in the team race.

RAHS is a ritzy aviation and aerospace-themed STEM school in Tukwila, which was tabbed as the #1 school in Washington state by US News & World Report.

To which Coupeville said, “Bring it on!”

CHS senior Teo Keilwitz and junior Anna Dion teamed up to notch the best result, taking home the gold medal for 1st place in “Mission Possible.”

 

Other Top 10 finishers:

Boomilever (5th) — Jakobi Baumann/Ian Silvester

Forensics (5th) — Dion/Maddy Andrews

Wright Stuff (6th) — Madison Rixe/Ricky Rebischke-Smith

Disease Detectives (7th) — Dion/Andrews

LEAF (8th) — Lily Zustiak/Dion

Fossils (9th) — Baumann/Rixe

Mouse Trap (9th) — Drake Borden/Keilwitz

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Coupeville’s Maddy Andrews (left) and Anna Dion claimed 2nd in forensics at a Science Olympiad competition. (Neil Rixe photo)

The Wolves took a chomp out of the big city.

Despite being one of the smallest schools in competition, Coupeville High School claimed seven top 10 finishes Saturday at a Science Olympiad meet in Seattle.

Anna Dion and Teo Keilwitz were the conquering heroes, claiming the title in “Mission Possible.”

It was a busy day for Dion, who finished in the top 10 in four different events, including tacking on a 2nd in forensics while working with Maddy Andrews.

Other top 10 Wolf finishers:

BoomileverJakobi Baumann and Ian Silvester

Wright Stuff Madison Rixe and Ricky Rebischke-Smith

Leaf Challenge Dion and Lily Zustiak

Geo Mapping Maka Sorrows and Baumann

Herpetology Rixe and Dion

Coupeville finished 13th in the team competition.

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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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Lily Leedy leads off a photographic look at Coupeville soccer players. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Aurora Cernick

The 2018 Wolf booters claim the pitch as their own.

Katelin McCormick

Anna Dion

The pitch is alive with the sound of goals being scored.

Another soccer season has arrived, but first, photos, as John Fisken provides us with a team pic and a medley of portraits.

Many more to come as the season plays out.

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