Eatonville goalkeeper Tierney Amaral grabs one of her many saves against Seton Catholic.
In a heart-wrenching loser-out match that marked the end of their season, the Eatonville Cruisers girls' soccer team fell short against the Seton Catholic Cougars, losing 1-0 in the first round of the SWW District 4 playoffs.
The decisive moment of the game occurred in the 33rd minute when Seton Catholic's CJ Moore capitalized on a penalty kick following an unintentional handball in the box by the Cruisers. The pivotal penalty kick proved to be the game-winner and spelled the end of Eatonville's playoff run.
Cruiser goalkeeper Tierney Amaral delivered a standout performance, making at least six saves to keep her team in contention throughout the match.
“The match itself was a good match — the girls did very well and fought to the end. The goal they scored was an unfortunate one due to an accidental handball in the box. They had only a couple of other opportunities to score, and Tierney Amaral made some tremendous saves to keep the game close. We just couldn't find the back of the net, which seemed to be a theme the last few weeks for us,” said interim head coach Machaela Swartout.
"Something I talked to the girls about last night was how proud of them I was. That in the face of adversity with the coaching change, they made a tough situation turn into an incredible season when it could have gone much worse. They persevered and fought to be the best they could for each other and improved so much in such a short time. The coaching staff and I are so incredibly proud and thankful."
When asked about her future with the team, Swartout expressed her gratitude but confirmed that she had no plans to return as head coach.
“No plans to come back — I was just happy I could play a role to help these girls have a memorable season. I care so deeply about these student athletes and am thankful to lead such a great group of girls to be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”
The Eatonville Cruisers wrapped up their season with an 8-6-1 record, concluding their journey with heads held high, knowing they gave their all in a hard-fought match that will be remembered for their tenacity and spirit.