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Lakewood bounces back — Cougars get first win at state in dramatic fashion
SILVERDALE — Abby Burke has been the definition of a game-changer for the Cougars this postseason.
The freshman midfielder scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute of a 2-1 victory over Klahowya Nov. 10 at Silverdale Stadium to help Lakewood advance to the 2A state quarterfinals.
"I challenged her at halftime," said Cougars coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth. "We're looking for someone to step up and score for us and I told her to be greedy."
Burke scored off a deflected set piece from the 30 yards out. The Klahowya defender headed the ball straight up, allowing a group of players to migrate underneath. Burke fought her way through a couple of Eagles and headed in the goal from just a few yards out. It was her third game-deciding goal of the season, and second in a row, completing the comeback from a 1-0 halftime deficit.
"The comeback started about a week ago," said Wolgemuth, remarking on his limited roster due to the loss of seven players at the start of the District 1 tournament.
Lakewood is 2-1 in matches since losing five starters, relying on timely scoring and young players taking on new roles.
"I keep saying that we are so proud of these girls," Wolgemuth said. "I told them to dig deep at halftime or this would be the final 40 minutes we play."
Despite an athletic advantage, the Cougars trailed the Eagles when a corner kick went untouched through a mob of players and into the goal in the 24th minute.
The second half proved to be a different story, as it opened with foreshadowing when Burke challenged Eagles keeper Cassondra Dick with a shot from 20 yards out that resulted in a diving save.
The Eagles were not so fortunate on Dick's next dive in the 53rd minute. Confusion by Klahowya defenders resulted in a waist-high bounce to Morgan Rettig, who split the defenders by shooting on the volley. The shot was deflected, but it was too strong as it hit the left post and went in as the equalizer.
"Morgan has been the spark plug for us and is the most improved player on the team in my mind," Wohlgemuth said.
The offensive success of the Cougars (14-4) was attributed by Wohlgemuth to the shift of defender Kennady Bonnallie to the midfield, allowing for more possession and aggression on the Klahowya end.
The win set up a Nov. 14 rematch between Lakewood and Sehome. The outcome of their last match was a 1-0 Mariners win. Due to an early, 100 percent distribution deadline, the result was not available.
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