Kennedy Carpenter cleaned up on the far post.
Hannah Moats took care of business on the near post.
As a result, King’s Way Christian is on its way to the Class 1A state girls soccer quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
Carpenter scored twice in a 10-minute span of the first half, and Moats made two key saves in the final five minutes as the Knights defeated Lynden Christian 2-0 on Wednesday night in a first-round matchup.
King’s Way Christian (14-2), winless in its first three trips to the state tournament, advanced to play Seattle Academy (14-2-3) on Saturday afternoon at home.
“The feeling is amazing,” said Carpenter, a senior who had scored only three goals coming into Wednesday’s game. “Not being able to win the first round of state has been really hard the past couple of years, but I’m really glad we did it this year. Now, we’ve got to keep it going.”
That the Knights finally made their breakthrough with former standout striker MacKenzie Ellertson — who is sitting out the season to focus on her club duties — standing beside her mother and King’s Way coach Tina Ellertson on the sidelines wasn’t lost on either of them.
“I think it’s perfect,” Tina said. “I love that this is how God wanted the story to be written. For her to be on the sideline cheering and witnessing it and being a part of it is just amazing.”
Carpenter was Jenny-on-the-spot on both of her goals, pouncing on loose balls in the area delivered by Aurora Espinoza-Cheney from the left wing.
The first was a perfectly placed cross that skittered past diving keeper Abby Jansma’s fingertips. Carpenter finished off her far-post run and blasted the ball into the empty net in the 18th minute.
Ten minutes later, Espinoza-Cheney lofted a ball to the top of the 6-yard box. Jansma came off her line but missed the ball, and after bouncing a couple of times, Carpenter was there to tap the ball inside the right post.
“All year long, we’ve been working with her on sealing off that far post, because you never know,” Tina Ellertson said. “Finally, she just took the information and applied it, so she got rewarded for it definitely.”
Lynden Christian (8-6-3) kept applying pressure much of the night, outshooting the hosts 9-4, but it wasn’t until the final five minutes that they nearly broke through.
That’s when Moats came up big, pushing aside a point-blank shot before corralling the ensuing cross off the rebound.
Less than a minute later, she stopped a partial breakaway to maintain the shutout.
“No ball was going to get in my goal tonight,” Moats said. “That was what I was telling myself the whole time.”
Moats finished with four saves in earning her 10th shutout of the season.
“She just came up big today,” Ellertson said. “People don’t get to see her making those saves in our league games because it gets a little lopsided at times, so it’s wonderful for her to be able to show what she can bring to this team.”
By RENE FERRAN, For The Columbian
Published: November 8, 2017, 11:07 PM