Lewis scores in first minute of NWPL final as Seattle wins 3-1

July 22, 2018

Ariela Lewis soccer

Ariela Lewis

Anchorage’s Ariela Lewis has scored a ton of goals in her career, but even she surprises herself every once in a while.

The former Alabama State University star netted a goal on her first touch in the first minute of the match to get the Seattle Stars going in a 3-1 win over the Washington Timbers in the championship game of the Northwest Premier League in Kent, Washington.

“The goal was kind of shocking to me; it was not a very fast ball – my footing was off when I struck it – but I just watched it trickle into the far right corner and past the keeper,” she told me. “I was shocked, honestly, at how slow it was and that it made it, but hey, a goal is a goal, right?”

Lewis, of Dimond High fame, enjoyed an amazing college career with the NCAA D1 school, where she bagged 57 goals and won Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors.

It was a rematch of last year’s final won by the Timbers. The difference appears to be Lewis, a rookie, who finished second in the elite adult women’s league with seven goals and spearheaded an offense that helped Seattle post a perfect 9-0 record.

“Honestly, it is amazing to have gotten this win and to have done it too with such talented women from all over,” she said.

Lewis walked away with more than a gold medal; she suffered a head injury during the match and came off the field briefly before returning and finishing the match. She was cleared after going through the team’s concussion protocol.

Still, she spent the next 24 hours nursing a painful headache.

“Celebrating was minimal for me due to the head injury, but regardless it was wonderful to see the smile on their faces and to know I got to contribute to the Seattle Stars’ legacy,” Lewis said.

The Alaskan made a huge impact in her first season with the Stars, especially in the playoffs. She knocked in a pair of goals in a 5-0 semifinal win and then scored the first time she touched the ball in the final.

“I made eye contact with my midfielder and instinctively turned and took off as she chipped it over me and the backline,” she said. “I think I cut on the girl once and put it to my left foot … before I knew it, the ball touched the net and I heard cheering from behind me. It was a great feeling to score in the first minute of the final.”