If there had been any doubt that the Lynnwood Royals could contend with the top girls soccer teams in the 2A/3A Wesco League this season, it was erased on Tuesday as the Royals overcame a two-goal second half deficit and earned a 2-2 draw with the previously-perfect Everett Seagulls in a match played at Lincoln Field in Everett.
The Seagulls had won all seven of their matches this year going into Tuesday contest and had outscored their opponents 24-8 before having to settle for the tie with Lynnwood.
Forwards Madison Hinkel and Cassidy O’Dell each scored in the second half for Lynnwood and goalkeeper Isabella Shields kept the Seagulls at bay in the final 50 minutes to preserve the draw.
Early in the match it appeared Everett was on its way to their eighth straight victory of the season as the Seagulls dominated much of the first half. Shields was forced into making seven first-half saves, but couldn’t reach two well-placed shots that became Everett goals.
In the 11th minute, Everett’s Fiona Deraitus rolled a shot into the far right corner of the Royals goal from 15 yards out to give the Seagulls an early 1-0 lead. Then in the 33rd minute, Gabrielle Gutierrez gave the slightest touch with her head to an Alexis Johnson corner kick and sent the ball into the upper right corner of the goal, putting Everett up 2-0 at halftime.
Needing to turn the tide, Lynnwood made a tactical change going into the second half and moved Hinkel back from her normal striker role into the midfield. The move proved beneficial as the Royals were able to win more 50-50 balls in the middle of the pitch and slow down the Seagulls attack.
“At the beginning we had three at the top and we were trying to play our normal formation … trying to play a lot of offense,” explained Hinkel. “But it wasn’t working; our offense and our defense weren’t playing together. So we switched to two on top and put me at center attacking mid. And it (started) helping our team play together.”
While not specifically in a striker role, Hinkel still got the Royals on the scoreboard seven minutes into the second half when she took a header pass from O’Dell, raced toward the Everett goal and got off a low shot that beat Seagulls’ goalkeeper Annie Fowler for the score.
The tying goal by O’Dell came with just over 10 minutes to go in regulation as the senior fired a 30-yard rocket that glanced off Everett’s right goalpost and into the netting.
The Royals nearly walked away with a victory in the match instead of the tie as two other scoring opportunities became near misses instead of goals. With less than a minute to go in regulation, O’Dell created some space for herself just inside the left portion of the 18-yard box and got off a hard shot that struck the left goalpost and bounced away. And midway through the first half, Hinkel headed a corner kick toward the upper righthand corner of the Everett goal that Fowler was able to bat away with her left hand just in front of the goal line.
“It was really close – I definitely thought it was going to go in,” Hinkel said of her first half header. “But the goalie made a nice save.”
Even though it wasn’t a win, Hinkel and her Royals’ teammates weren’t too disappointed with the final result. “It was a good game; they’re a really strong team and I thought we played well,” Hinkel concluded. “Hopefully we will play them again.”
If the Royals and Seagulls do meet again this year, it will come in postseason play. Until then, Lynnwood has seven matches remaining in the regular season, beginning with a Wesco League tilt against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors on Thursday, Sept. 28. First kick at Edmonds Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Prep Girls Soccer: Lynnwood at Everett, Sept. 26
Lynnwood 0 2 0 — 2
Everett 2 0 0 — 2
Fiona Deraitus (Everett) in the 14th minute
Gabrielle Gutierrez (Everett) in the 33rd minute
Madison Hinkel (Lynnwood) in the 47th minute
Cassidy O’Dell (Lynnwood) in the 69th minute
Isabella Shields (Lynnwood) — 13
Annie Fowler (Everett) — 6
Lynnwood — 4
Everett — 5
Records: Lynnwood 3-1-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-1-1 overall; Everett 3-0-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 7-0-1 overall
Lynnwood next match: versus Edmonds-Woodway, Thursday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski