Thayer’s hat trick powers Kamiak to win over Mariner | Girls soccer

Knights jump out to 3-0 halftime lead against Marauders
By David Pan | Oct 03, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Liz Thayer (9) celebrates one of her three goals +against Mariner with teammate Riley Beirne Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Kamiak High School. The Knights won 5-1.

Kamiak’s Liz Thayer had the hot foot against district rival Mariner.

Thayer recorded her first hat trick of the season to lead the Knights to a 5-1 victory over the Marauders in a Wesco 4A girls soccer game Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Kamiak High School.

“It wasn’t me. I was in the right place at the right time,” the Kamiak senior said. “My teammates were playing well, playing great balls and I just happened to be in on the kicks.”

Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis appreciated how Thayer finished her opportunities.

“The toughest part of the game is putting the ball in the back of the net,” Pitharoulis said. “Having a hat trick, that’s awesome. It’s fun to be able to watch the girls, all of them, be excited for her and her hat trick.”

Thayer scored in the 16th minute to give the Knights (3-2-1 in the league, 3-4-1 overall) a 1-0 lead. Junior Anna Lau and senior Fiona Deraitus followed with goals as Kamiak took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

The Knights came into Tuesday night’s contest with a specific objective in mind and seemed to achieve it.

“We were focusing on speed of play today,” Thayer said. “We wanted to connect passes faster and get the ball up the field faster.”

Pitharoulis noted that the team isn’t looking just to have the players run faster. Rather, the goal is for the Knights to play quicker and to have fewer touches.

“There are some really good teams in the league and we have to be able to play faster,” he said. “We worked on it really hard yesterday and have talked about it all season. We’re getting there. It’s not an easy or quick process. “

The graduation of eight starters from last year has meant the Knights have spent the early part of the season growing together as a unit.

“When we came together we were slower and we couldn’t connect the passes as well and we had a lack of communication,” Thayer said. “But we’ve really been focusing on that and our communication is there. Our passes are better, but we’re still working on that speed of playing.”

After allowing a Mariner goal early in the second half, the Knights closed out the contest with two Thayer goals.

Starting and finishing games strong also is an emphasis for Kamiak. The Knights gave up early goals to Lake Stevens and Monroe. Kamiak prevailed 3-1 against the Bearcats but lost 1-0 to the Vikings.

“If it only happened once I wouldn’t be worried about it, but the fact that it happened two games in a row, it’s been an emphasis now for myself and the team – making sure we are ready to go from the first whistle to the last whistle,” Pitharoulis said.

The Knights led Glacier Peak 2-0 at halftime but then allowed the Grizzlies to score two second half goals and ended with a 2-2 tie.

Kamiak had no letdown in the second half against the Marauders.

“We tired to play 80 minutes as hard as we could,” Thayer said.

Pitharoulis said the Knights still have room for improvement, but he likes the way the team is coming together.

“We’re right there. We’re close,” he said. “We’re getting there.”

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