Grace Academy soccer coach Gretchen Hammel knows all too well that matches against rival Silverdale Baptist Academy are always going to be high-emotion, close-scoring affairs, regardless of what's at stake.
There was much on the line Tuesday, though, and they played that way throughout, and emotions spilled into the stands afterward.
The teams played to a 1-all tie, which solidified Grace's Lady Golden Eagles as the No. 2 seed for the District 5-A/AA tournament. Silverdale needed nothing less than a win to place second and now will be the No. 4 seed behind Boyd-Buchanan.
Soon after the game, Hammel got involved in a shouting match with a fan after accusing some Lady Seahawks boosters of laughing at an injured Grace player. Soon after, a near melee broke out between a Silverdale fan and a Grace fan after one threw a water bottle at an official.
"Silverdale is a great school," Hammel said. "There won't be any hard feelings about tonight going forward."
The Lady Seahawks (8-4-1, 3-2-1) put Grace ahead in the 55th minute when Silverdale's Michaela Harrison kicked the ball into her own goal while trying to clear a cross by Grace's Sierra Nunley. Silverdale got the goal back in the 72nd minute when Abbie Alosi scored on a free kick.
"We knew we had to win and we had shots, but we just couldn't find the back of the net," Lady Seahawks coach Chris Neighbors said. "I'm real proud of the girls, though. They battled throughout."
Grace (7-3-2, 3-1-2) had four first-half corner kicks and had opportunities in front of the net but wasn't able to push a shot through.
"The girls did exactly what I asked," Hammel said. "We pressed them pretty hard and that led to our goal. It was an emotional game, but I thought the girls had a lot of composure, and that's what I'm most proud of."