Frightful things can happen in the corner of soccer fields – a place where the action can get down and dirty.
Early in the second half, Sumner High forward Kaylie Rozell – known as much for her competitive fire and she is for scoring goals – trapped the ball in the left corner near the Archbishop Murphy goal.
She stopped the ball. She waited. She might have even said something to the Wildcats’ defender who frantically tried to take the ball away from her.
Most importantly, Rozell got the thing she wanted most – a corner kick for her team.
And it was a key maneuver, because midfielder Alyssa Murray curled in a cross that went inside the far post for the match’s lone goal in the 47th minute, and the No. 1 Spartans held on for a 1-0 girls quarterfinal victory over the two-time Class 2A champions from Mill Creek at Sunset Chev Stadium.
The victory avenged the Spartans’ 1-0 loss to the Wildcats (20-2) at this same juncture a season ago. Sumner (18-0) advances to the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
“We wanted to get a goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half,” Sumner coach Robi Turley said, “and work our butts off from there.”
The Wildcats probably outplayed Sumner in the first half, so Turley made an adjustment by bringing midfielder Brooke Lancaster up to create more pressure. The move worked as the Spartans had three shots in the first 10 minutes.
The game-winner was set up by Rozell’s heads-up ploy – one she said had only a solitary purpose behind it as she played keep-a-way in the corner.
“I was trying to get the foul,” she said, “or the corner (kick).”
Murray finished it off by bending the approach just inside the right post for the 1-0 lead.
Yet, this match had a controversial moment late.
Down the left side, Wildcats’ forward Shelby Koch lined a shot on goal in the 71st minute that Sumner goalkeeper Jamie Lange went over her head to snare. Immediately, Archbishop Murphy players protested that the ball crossed the in-line, and would have been a goal.
The field judge called it a save.
“The goalie was off her line, so she reached back into the goal and pulled it out,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mike Bartley said. “They didn’t call it.”