Bellevue kicks into state title match

Bellevue players celebrate their 1-0 victory in a penalty kick shootout over Lakeside on Friday in the 3A state semifinals at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The Wolverines blast into Saturday’s title matchup against Lake Washington at 2 p.m. at Sparks. Goalkeeper Ashley Heinz made two saves in PKs and Audrey Miller tallied the deciding shot. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus


It came down to penalty kicks once again.

In the semifinal, Bellevue goalkeeper Ashley Heinz registered several crucial saves during regulation time and then notched two more in the penalty kick shootout as the Wolverines beat Lakeside, 1-0.

Audrey Miller hammered in the deciding goal for Bellevue, which outshot Lakeside 4-3 in PKs. Morgan Pingree, Halle Fletcher and Rebekah Roth also netted PKs for Bellevue.

It was the Wolverines’ third PK shootout win in the playoffs and Heinz has made nine saves during that run.

Heinz said she enjoys standing between the posts during PKs, and she was ready for the Lakeside kickers.

“It’s really just exuding confidence, making sure that they know that you have them figured out. Making sure you have a solid guess before they go up and kick it because that’s the most important (aspect), just picking a side and going for it,” Heinz said.

It was a stressful semifinal for Heinz, who had to handle the ball more in the second half than in the first frame.

“They had possession most of the half, and I had to really stay focused and make sure I was communicating with my back line, keeping everyone organized,” Heinz said of the second half. “Once I get a couple saves under my belt, I get in my groove, I feel pretty confident.”

Miller, whose name was mistakenly omitted from the program roster, put her name in the scorebook with the game-deciding PK.

“I actually didn’t know, so I was very nervous,” she said of being in the position to notch the match-winner. “When it went in, it was just such a relief, so I’m very grateful that it went in, ‘cause we won.”

Reflecting on the match, Miller said it was an intense and fun contest against a tough Lakeside squad.

Bellevue head coach Peter Cochran was proud of the way the Wolverines played against the solid Lions.

“We knew it would take a very good game from our girls to come out with a victory,” Cochran said.

Star senior Paige Satterlee sustained a left-leg injury in the Wolverines’ previous match and played the first half against Lakeside. Cochran said she’s the toughest player he’s coached during his Wolverine tenure.

“All year, a theme has been togetherness and having each other’s back, and these girls have each other’s back,” Cochran said. “So when someone like Paige goes down, we had so many girls step up to fill the gap.”