After finishing second in State at last season’s Recreational Cup, the Daredevils GU-15 team won it all this year by knocking off the Tracyton Tigers 4-2. The game was played last month at the Starfire Complex in Tukwila, as the Woodinville-based squad concluded their championship season with a 14-1 record.
After jumping ahead to a 2-0 lead, the Daredevils surrendered a goal on a free kick right before halftime, to see their lead cut to 2-1.
"It was clear they had speed up front that we could not match," Daredevil coach Parker Karnan said. "They were a faster team up front than we were in the backfield. And so we had to play really intelligent defense. We had to keep our shape and make sure we were pressuring the ball and forcing them to distribute and then covering those angles."
The teams traded goals to open the second half, and the Daredevils led 3-2 coming down the stretch. But then a key play from Daredevil Taylor Reinhart helped put the game away.
"With 8:00 left, we were fouled and had a shot from 20 yards out," Karnan said. "Taylor, instead of waiting for the other team to set up and build a wall, she just put the ball down and took a really quick shot and placed it in the upper corner (of the goal).
"It was really head’s up intelligent soccer. That put us up 4-2. And from there we put speed in the back and we were able to hold on for the victory."
As the final whistle sounded, the Daredevils celebrated with laughter and hugs all around.
Audrey Karnan, the daughter of coach Karnan, was later asked to reflect on what it was like playing for her dad.
"There was a lot of fun," she said. "Closeness with your coach is always fun. I feel like I improved a lot having him as a coach. We’ve had a lot of great discussions after games, reflecting on my playing. He made practices really fun. He encouraged me in every way."
"This experience is something these girls will remember," Coach Karnan said. "When you have chemistry both on and off the field, it really was a special year. And it couldn’t have ended in a better way."
Photo by Matt Fitzgerald The State Champion Daredevils of Woodinville pose for the team picture for the 2013 season.