Jackson rallies in second half to stay undefeated | Girls soccer

Wolfpack edges Glacier Peak 3-2
By David Pan | Sep 21, 2018
Photo by: David Pan Jackson’s Cindy Zeng tracks down the ball during a Wesco 4A game against Glacier Peak Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Everett Stadium.

It took Jackson half a game to get its motor running.

Trailing 2-1 to Glacier Peak, the Timberwolves tied the game early in the second half and then scored the game-winner with just a couple of minutes remaining to pull out a 3-2 victory in a Wesco 4A girls soccer game Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Everett Memorial Stadium.

The victory kept the Wolfpack (3-0-0 in the league, 5-0 overall) tied for first place in the league with Lake Stevens (3-0-0, 4-1-0).

“I would say right now we’re kind of a second half team,” Jackson coach Sarah Smart. “That’s when we really turn it on.”

The two first-half goals by the Grizzlies were the first scored on Jackson this season and may have thrown the Timberwolves off.

“I think we were a little shell-shocked,” Smart said. “A lack of focus allowed them to capitalize on two good opportunities.”

Jackson junior Kathryn Cheng scored off an assist by senior Bonnie Martin in the first half.

Senior Keile Hansen’s seventh goal of the season off an assist from freshman Kaelyn Fernandez early in the second half tied the score at 2 and then Fernandez scored the game-winner via an assist from senior Peyton Manalo.

At halftime, Smart had a feeling her team would find a way to respond.

“They really came out firing in the second half,” Smart said. “Our great fitness base allowed us to keep the momentum. We had something to prove.

“Our energy was there. Tactically we made better use of our formations. Our defenders started to possess the ball more. We were penetrating down the side of the field. We were able to go on the offensive and pick apart the defense in the second half. We created some opportunities.”

Smart praised the play of Fernandez, who brings great energy and work ethic to the team.

“It was a really gritty second half effort,” Smart said. “Everybody stayed really positive and supported each other.”

The Wolfpack lineup underwent some major changes with the graduation of its starting goalkeeper and top offensive threat.

Sophomore Ashlyn Cheng, who is taking over at goalie, played well against the Grizzlies, Smart said, and Hansen obviously is making her presence known on the offensive end. Cheng has a knack for scoring for coming up with timely goals, Smart added.

“The team is adjusting to the new people, new personnel,” Smart said. “We lost a fair number of players. New people have really stepped up. A lot of them come from JV. They were excellently prepared to step into roles on varsity.”

With three league wins and five overall to start the season, Smart can’t complain about too much.

“I’m really pleased with how they’re playing for the most part,” she said. “No coach wants to be a second half team. They just work really hard.”

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