It wasn't even a win, but the Kent-Meridien (Wash.) High girls soccer players celebrated as if they'd just won a state title. In fact, the postgame jubilation may have been even more significant than that.
"It was like we had just won the World Cup," Kent-Meridien defender Sami Bond told the Seattle Times. "I was kind of shocked initially."
What Bond was shocked about was a tie. And she was shocked in a good way; the 0-0 deadlock marked the first time in nine years that K-M's girls soccer team hadn't finished a game with a loss.
The losing streak stretched to more than 130 games, as estimated by coach Chris Wells. The Times provided an even more clear indication of just how overmatched K-M has traditionally been: The Royals were outscored 86-3 during the 2011 campaign, dropping a game to the opponent they finally tied this year by the humiliating score of 6-0.
Yet it isn't as if Kent-Meridien's team stopped trying. Rather, it tried its hearts out, but could never quite hold off an opponent for a full game. That finally happened in a game against area rival Kentlake, with goalie Lindsey Gonzalez proving a brick wall behind a suddenly stout defense anchored by Bond.
No matter that the Royals didn't win. Just avoiding a loss was enough to make the entire 2012 season stand on its head.
"In a way, it was kind of like a win for us," Bond told the Times. "This is something we've been trying to do for a while. We didn't let Kentlake win. We held them out even in the heat. I know I was tired, but we just kept on playing.
"It was really nice to see the reaction when the final whistle blew."