There was quite the high-profile matchup on the plateau last night as the last two Class 4A state girls soccer champs — No. 1 Skyline and No. 5 Eastlake — took the field. After a back-and-forth battle between two the state’s most talented programs, the defending-champ Spartans emerged victorious 2-1 on a late gamewinner by Coral Anderson in the 74th minute.
Both coaches had nothing but positive things to say from the match.
“As far as high school soccer goes, this was about as good as it gets,” said Eastlake coach Chuck Krieble. “It was as good as any state final.”
Said Skyline coach Don Braman: “Eastlake was clearly one of the strongest teams we’ve played this season.”
After a scoreless first half, Skyline took the lead on a 53rd-minute goal by Jackie Wilson with an assist to Maddie Christ. Eastlake equalized in the 67th minute when a dangerous ball in the box was last touched by a Spartans defender for an own goal.
Despite blowing the second-half lead, Braman said his team wasn’t disheartened.
“None of the girls put head down,” he said. “They recommitted to getting another goal.”
Anderson found the game-winner with six minutes left and Skyline came out on top. One of the Spartans girls — I forget who — was also celebrating a birthday Thursday night, so there was double reason to celebrate.
The Skyline-Eastlake rivalry has always been a good one. The Wolves won both meetings last year by 3-1 scores, but the Spartans had the last laugh by winning the state title. The rivalry also takes an interesting twist since both coaches teach at Skyline.
“I’m sure the girls get a chance to say, ‘Hi’, and make sure that he knows how it went in the classroom,” Braman said. “I’m sure his day was interesting today.”