BY DOUG PACEY
Forward Amanda Roselli scored, goalkeeper Ryann Waldmann blocked shot after shot and midfielder Shelby Hutton saved the game for Fife in the Class 2A girls soccer state semifinals.
Just like that, the Trojans escaped Harry E. Lang Stadium on Friday in Lakewood with a 1-0 win over Archbishop Murphy and will play for the state championship for the second straight season.
"It’s amazing," Hutton said. "This is what we’ve worked for all year."
Fife (19-0-1) will play Cedarcrest in the title game at 4 p.m. today at Harry E. Lang Stadium. The Red Wolves beat Yakima East Valley, 3-0, to reach the final.
Archbishop Murphy’s aggressive offense hammered the Trojans all game. But Roselli, The News Tribune’s 2008 Girls Soccer Player of the Year, made the Wildcats pay late in the first half.
The forward scored on a breakaway, beating defender Meagan Duke and then firing the ball past goalkeeper Alexa Hughes into the corner of the net in the 39th minute.
"I just took the ball and looked for the net," said Roselli, who has 28 goals this season. "One goal was all we needed."
Once the Trojans took a 1-0 lead, they were able to settle back on defense, which has been the strength of this team, and, like last season, eliminate the Wildcats (18-3-1) in the semifinals.
"We got our goal late in the first half and that gave us momentum going into halftime," Shimoda said. "We kept that going in the second half."
Fife’s stout defense did all it could to withstand the Wildcats’ barrage. Archbishop Murphy (18-3-1) came within inches of scoring the equalizer in the 70th minute. Brittany Allen passed the ball to Sam Pettinger, who lofted the ball just beyond the reach of Waldman’s fingertips, making the senior believe the unthinkable had happened – that she had given up a goal for the first time in 14 games.
But Hutton was standing just in front of the goal line and cleared the ball, sending it over the crossbar.
"I saw the ball going over my head and thought it was a goal," Waldman said. "But Shelby was there when I messed up."
Said Hutton: "I was just in the right place at the right time."
The Wildcats outshot the Trojans, 11-2, leading coach Terri Shimoda to say that Archbishop Murphy had the most talented and aggressive offense Fife has faced this season.
"Constant pressure, skilled players, they are fast and do it all," she said. "They made us work for this win."
Waldman played a huge role in the victory. In the 63 rd minute, she dove to her left, punching away a ball that nearly snuck into the goal along the post.
"When she sells out and makes a save like that," Shimoda said, "that pumps everyone else up."
Cedarcrest 3, Yakima East Valley 0: The Red Wolves scored two goals early in the second half, securing a spot in the state title game.
Maggie Pleis and Rachel Kevin scored in the first 10 minutes of the second half to give Cedarcrest (15-6-1) a 3-0 advantage. Brooke Chapman scored the Red Wolves’ first goal in the 31st minute.
Cedarcrest last reached the state final in 2006 when it lost, 1-0, to Archbishop Murphy.
The Red Devils (17-4) will play the Wildcats at 10 a.m. today for third place.
Doug Pacey: 253-597-8271