Kickers thrown for a final loss

"The Kennedy High School girls’ soccer team took what might be called a hands-on approach to its 3-1 victory over Bainbridge Tuesday night in the opening round of the state playoffs.The game of soccer, by design, has little use for a player’s hands. If a ball touches one during on-field play, whether it’s intentional or otherwise, possession is immediately awarded to the other team.But Kennedy found a way around that, using throw-in plays from the sidelines for each of its three goals during their contest at Burien’s Highline Stadium to end the Spartans’ season"

  • Monday, November 15, 1999 4:00pm
  • Sports

“The Kennedy High School girls’ soccer team took what might be called a hands-on approach to its 3-1 victory over Bainbridge Tuesday night in the opening round of the state playoffs.The game of soccer, by design, has little use for a player’s hands. If a ball touches one during on-field play, whether it’s intentional or otherwise, possession is immediately awarded to the other team.But Kennedy found a way around that, using throw-in plays from the sidelines for each of its three goals during their contest at Burien’s Highline Stadium to end the Spartans’ season.In each play, the Lancers (16-1) were awarded the ball out-of-bounds deep in Spartan territory. Kennedy’s Ginny Seibel powered the throw in front of Bainbridge’s goal much like a corner kick, and teammates Joanna and Nikki Kustok were there on each occasion to punch the surprise toss through for a score.“The only thing they really had going for them over us was that throw-in play,” said Bainbridge goalkeeper Elisha Herzog, whose valiant first effort was overshadowed by Kennedy’s first two goals. “It was amazing the way they could place that. There really wasn’t much I could do with it.”The loss, and the end of an outstanding season for the Spartans (10-6-3), overshadowed what was one of the team’s best efforts against a stacked deck – a road game in the other team’s backyard, a driving rainstorm and an artificial-turf surface.And all against a team which had outscored its opponents 61-1 to date.While Kennedy dominated the statistics, outshooting the Spartans 18-3, Bainbridge’s players succeeded in keeping the ball away from their goal for the most part.Bainbridge coach Susan Fowler said the surface made a difference.“They (Kennedy) were really familiar with that surface, and played it really well,” she said. “They were good at flicking the ball out of the air, where we’re used to dealing with the bounce.”Herzog agreed.“It would have been a totally different game on grass, a lot like when we played Olympic,” she said, referring to Bainbridge’s 3-1 loss early in the season on the 4A rival’s home turf surface and 1-0 win last month on the grass of Spartan Stadium.“I think we could have played a much better game and beaten their team.”While there was disappointment in the end of a remarkable season that saw the Spartans successfully spring into the state’s “Sweet Sixteen” tournament after a soft midseason performance, there was pride in having gotten as far as they did.And pride in scoring a goal – Kim Loddeke’s short-range blast past Kennedy keeper Kelly Stewart with four minutes left to play – against the state’s statistically toughest defense.“It would have been a totally different story if we hadn’t scored,” Herzog said. “It made the losing less harsh.”Herzog, who split keeper duties with Maegen Beattie and Lisa Earnest throughout the season, is one of eight departing seniors.The others include leading Spartan scorer Laura Loverich, stopper Jessica Spivey, forwards Amy Titterington and Kim Loddeke, co-captains Carly Keehn and Lindsay Gore, and the versatile Carolyn Mackenzie.Fowler will miss their experience as she looks next season to fill her roster with the cream of an unbeaten junior-varsity team.“I think we have some strong players on their way up,” she said. “Maybe not as experienced, but just as talented.”The current players, however, will miss their own.“This is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on,” said Herzog, who will join the Everett Marauders Premier I team next month. “I knew the girls were going to come to play every game and not let anybody down.“Everyone’s happy with our season. We knew it would end sometime. We just didn’t want it to end this soon.””

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