The Ferndale girls soccer team celebrates and walks off the field after defeating Bonney Lake in a penalty shootout in the 3A state playoffs. (Tanner Pierce/Lynden Tribune)

Golden Eagles make a statement in opening round of state playoffs

BONNEY LAKE — In its first ever state tournament appearance, the Ferndale girls soccer team definitely looked like it belonged. 

Winning in a penalty kick shootout by a score of 5-4, the Golden Eagles (13-6-1) moved on to the state quarterfinals, defeating Bonney Lake (17-3) in a first round matchup of the 3A state playoffs.

Bonney Lake took an early 1-0 lead on an Edie Markquart goal in the 10th minute, but the Golden Eagles didn’t stop fighting. They had plenty of opportunities deep in the Panthers’ territory, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net. 

After a few formation adjustments late into the game, the Golden Eagles found what they were looking for: an Aleah Washington equalizer in the 81st minute.

“I mean we went for it. There’s no point in losing 1-0, so we changed formation and did some other things,” Ferndale coach Rigel Weis said. “It’s once in a lifetime for them.” 

With nine seniors on the team, and none of them having experienced a game like this in their time at Ferndale, an all-out approach was the only way to go. =

After letting a Bonney Lake shot in the 10th minute find the back of the net, senior goalkeeper Ellie Gum made some big saves down the stretch to keep the Panthers from putting any more on the board. With five saves in the second half alone, Gum was a big reason the Golden Eagles stayed in the game. 

“I had a lot of faith in my team even though it was the last few minutes of the game [we] put that goal in,” Gum said. “I knew it would come. Everyone, I could tell, wanted to play their hearts out.” 

At the end of regulation, the Golden Eagles and Panthers were all squared up at 1-1 and headed to the first of two golden goal periods. After no one was able to score in the first or second period, the game headed to a penalty kick shootout. 

Bonney Lake led things off in the shootout as captain Kaylee Coatney found the back of the net. Following her was Ferndale senior Jocelyn Seig, who sent her shot over the crossbar and the Panthers yet again took an early 1-0 lead. 

Just as in regulation though, the Golden Eagles didn’t give up. After Bonney Lake and Ferndale had both kicked five shots, the two teams were tied at 4-4. 

Bonney Lake’s Ashley Hollenbeck, the last shot for the Panthers, ran in from midfield looking to give them the advantage and put all the pressure on Ferndale to keep their season alive, but the ball just rattled off the right post.

Golden Eagles’ senior Emily Kinsfather then had the opportunity to send Ferndale to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Her kick sailed toward the cross bar, but the soccer gods were on the Golden Eagles’ side and the ball fell straight down crossing the white line, pushing Ferndale to the next round. 

“I honestly can’t put it into words if I wanted to,” Gum said. 

The Golden Eagles will face Lakeside either Friday or Saturday night, looking to move on and make a deep run in their first state playoff appearance.