How Sentinel made their way to the state championship despite the odds.


Brian Powers

Sentinel Girls Varsity Soccer team 2022.

Sentinel’s Varsity girls soccer team started their season off hitting what felt like rock bottom only to bounce back up and take second in the state championship. The varsity team has coined their 2022 season as the comeback season. This complete turn around of events shows the dedication of Sentinel’s girls soccer players. The Spartan Scoop interviewed the team’s captains Lilly Allen and Kassidy Kirgan to get a better understanding of what this season was like for the girls on the field. 

As reported by Lilly Allen, one of the team’s captains and a senior at Sentinel High School, before the first game, two of the team’s key players came down with injuries. Haley Wolskey (starting center forward) tore her quad, while Allen’s co-captain Kirgan (starting goalkeeper) dislocated her elbow the practice before the first game. Allen notes having two of the team’s best players out for the start of the season played a huge part in the poor beginnings of the season for the girls. Kirgan also mentioned that it was difficult not to be on the field with her teammates. Six games into the season Sentinel was ranked seven out of eight in the West Girls Conference. 

 So how did this team manage to go from second to last to the championship? Interestingly enough, the most devastating loss of the season yet is what made the difference. In a game against Glacier, Sentinel lost four to eight. This loss was hit hard for the team, but it is also what made all the difference. On the bus ride home, Allen reflected: “At that point we [kind of] saw a turn that we could be successful even if we didn’t have some of our greatest assets.” The team then began working tirelessly to get better.  

The ninth game of the season is where the pivot began for the varsity girls. Sentinel had won two games previously, but this one seemed to have the biggest effect on the girls’ morale. The team tied zero to zero with Hellgate High School, who was ranked first in the West Girls Conference.  Up until that point no team had managed to even tie against Hellgate. This feat gave great confidence to the varsity girls. The team now also had their starting center forward and goalkeeper back as well, and this increased the improvement of the team. Allen pointed out that the dedication of the other team members who took on new roles and responsibilities was integral to the success. From then on Sentinel won the next 5 games. 

Sentinel took second place
in the championship,
which is an enormous accomplishment
considering their early season.

This drastic change in luck brought a new sense of hope to the team. Kirgan explained that before this many of the players tried to play soccer as individuals. However, when they realized that it was up to them to get out of their losing slump, they really came together as a team. Allen also attributes their comeback to the team’s willingness to believe in themselves. She thinks that it wasn’t talent that got them to the championship as much as it was that belief in one another. Sentinel took second place in the championship, which is an enormous accomplishment considering their early season. 

Both Kirgan and Allen will continue to play soccer in the future, Kirgan for Seattle University and Allen for Colorado Mesa University. Each captain loves soccer as well as their Sentinel teammates. They’re both exceedingly proud of their team and the accomplishments they made this season. The girls varsity team is a tight knit one, they spend hours together getting to know each other on only a level a highly dedicated team could do. Kirgan and Allen even mentioned that they had the fortunate opportunity to take a camping retreat to Flathead lake. There the girls learned in depth about their cohorts and the different experiences of the girls on the team. 

When asked what message would they like to give to their team for the future both captains were optimistic. “Know that if you’re at rock bottom the only way to go is up. Just keep working for each other, keep pushing and success will come” (Kassidy Kirgan). “Always work hard for your teammates even when you might be struggling with…one or two of them on the field or off the field. It’s just knowing that you always have those people in your corner and…if you keep working for them they’ll always step up for you” (Lilly Allen). They both would also give thanks to their coach Dan Lochridge and the whole team for never giving up and working hard even when they weren’t winning.