SEATTLE SUMNER — The Liberty Bell High School soccer team overcame adversity, much as it has all season, and finished with a school best-ever third place state 1B/2B trophy Saturday.
The Mountain Lions (12-8) suffered through many injuries including Cassidy Butler’s broken arm, MacKenzie Woodworth’s broken fingers and concussions (up to six weeks sitting out to heal) for Tulie Budiselich, Lauren Ochoa and Ella Hall.
In early October, the Lions lost coach Mike Wilson after he was placed on administrative leave.
Assistant coach Erik Olson took over coaching duties, helping guide the team to state. This was the second straight trip to Sunset Chev Stadium, where the team finished fourth (0-2) at state last year.
“We had a situation last Thursday where the acting head coach (Olson) had a medical emergency and was unable to go to state,” said Hunter Maltais, who took over athletic director duties from Wilson. “His assistant, Lucas Budrow, ended up taking the soccer team” to state.
Budrow was unavailable for comment this week after taking off for a trip “back east,” Maltais said.
The team, possibly reeling from the loss of yet another coach, fell 7-0 to two-time state champion Bear Creek Academy from Redmond in the opening round Friday.
On Saturday, a different wind lifted the Mountain Lions to a 1-0 victory following a shootout (5-3) over Adna (9-7-3) located south of Chehalis.
Crosspoint Academy (15-4), which beat Adna, 7-6, in a shootout, 6-5, Friday, won the state title the next day, 1-0, over Bear Creek (15-3-1).
In the 1A state soccer tournament, University Prep (18-3-1) beat King’s (19-3-0), 3-2, in the championship game. In the game for third and fourth place, Seattle Academy (19-2-1) won, 3-1, over La Salle (19-3-0), which had eliminated Cariboo Trail League champion Cashmere, 2-1, in the state quarterfinals.
“We were not playing our game Friday,” Tulie Budiselich, one of four Liberty Bell captains, said. “Everyone was pretty tense at the beginning of our first game,” Budiselich said. “By the second half, we talked it out and played our game and enjoyed it.
“That carried over to Saturday’s game and we over came our first loss.”
The difference was defense.
In the second game, the Mountain Lions knew to keep a close rein on the Pirates’ Regyn Gaffney, who scored five goals against Crosspoint Academy in the state semifinals Friday.
“We’d never played Adna before,” Budiselich said. “We’d played Bear Creek and Crosspoint. Adna was a new opponent. We really did not know what to expect of Adna other than to stop No. 11 (Gaffney).”