A Story For Those of You Who Gutted Out Time at the End of the Bench

If you’ve had conversation with me lately, you’ve probably had to hear me tell the tale of Niki, the Senior JV player who got called up to varsity for the last game of her senior year for Senior Night, and got in a fun 15 minutes of play at the end.

Well, the story gets better.  Here’s a story from the Seattle Times from last night’s Girls High School State Tournament:

Defending Champs Skyline Advances | Girls 4A State Soccer

SAMMAMISH — Fresh off its ascent to the No. 1 spot in the nation, top-ranked Skyline immediately went out and validated that status.


Two quick first-half goals and stout defense propelled the Spartans one step closer to their third consecutive Class 4A state championship with a 5-0 win over Mount Rainier in Tuesday’s first round of the state playoffs at Skyline High School.

Junior forward Michelle Bretl scored her first high-school hat trick and has four goals in the postseason for Skyline (17-0). She leads the team with 15 goals this season.

The Spartans’ depth showed, as well. Reserve Niki Gerlach, a senior playing in her second varsity match after a last-minute roster switch when Nicole Candioglos came up ill, booted in a rebound shot in the 78th minute. Gerlach, listed on the roster as a team manager, had been playing on the junior varsity.

“With Niki, it’s kind of a fun story,” said Skyline coach Don Braman. “On Senior Night, she had an assist and nearly scored a goal and was kicking herself, so it was fun to see her stick one in the net. She has worked hard.”


If you’ve ever sat on the sidelines and wondered why you are putting in all that effort for no guaranteed payout, this should remind you.

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