2B Girls Soccer: Loggers Edge Toledo for District Title; Pirates Finish Third
Loggers Edge Toledo For District Title
KALAMA — A pair of underdog teams clawed it out for the District IV 2B girls soccer championship here on Saturday with Onalaska emerging with a 1-0 victory over Toledo.
“It’s pretty amazing to beat Adna and then come here and take care of business against Toledo,” said Onalaska coach Chris VanClifford. “It was certainly unexpected,”
The Loggers managed to defeat the Central 2B League champion Pirates by a score of 1-0 in the semifinals while Toledo took out second-place Kalama with a score of 2-1 to reach the championship.
The unexpected title tilt matchup remained scoreless for the first 38 minutes before Onalaska’s Becca Griel managed a goal off a deflected corner kick.
“That’s districts for you. We just worked hard and kept pressure on the box,” said VanClifford. “Once you get your goal you’ve just got to play defense.”
And play defense they did. The Onalaska defense limited Toledo to just seven shots in the contest, with only one of those kicks winding up on target.
“We knew that we had a rough start to the game. Ony had full pressure right out of the gate and didn’t allow the girls to get comfortable on the field,” said Toledo coach Noel Vasquez. “They had a really good game plan for us and executed it perfectly.”
Toledo goalie Kaylee Veigle did her best to keep her team in contention by notching 15 saves in the contest.
“We were trying to play more of a defensive game with offense more of a second thought. But once the goal happened at halftime we just talked about how we need to start pushing up a little bit because 40 minutes go fast, especially when you’re playing for a district championship,” added Vasquez.
When that second half had elapsed completely without a score for Toledo their coach was left with another task to handle — helping his team rebound mentally as they get ready for the state tournament.
“More than anything the girls were really bummed out. We’ve never won at districts since we split with WInlock and became a 2B team,” said Vasquez, who noted Toledo has never before played for a district soccer title at any level. “The girls watched (Onalaska) lift the trophy and next week I think we’re going to work really hard to make sure we make it to the next round of state at Sumner. We’re going to bounce back.”
With a district championship trophy in hand following a fourth place finish in league Onalaska has now earned the right to host the first round of the state playoffs.
“We’re excited to play that first game as a home game. I think we’ve got a good chance of winning that game so we’re excited to have it in our own backyard,” said VanClifford.
Onalaska will take on Friday Harbor in a local contest. A location, time and date have yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Toledo will most likely face Mount Vernon Christian on Saturday, although a date, time and location are yet to be confirmed.
Adna Earns State Berth With Comeback Win Over Kalama
KALAMA — The Pirates made all their supporters nervous here on Saturday before registering a late comeback to punch their ticket to the state tournament for the seventh straight year.
After falling to Onalaska 1-0 in the semifinals Adna found themselves facing elimination on the Chinooks home field. When they fell behind in the first half the outlook appeared bleak for the Pirates right up until they struck a pair of goals of their own with ten minutes remaining in the game and then held on to claim third place district finish with a rousing 2-1 victory.
“It was a very exciting. We knew it would be a good game but we let one slip by in the first half. One of our defenders went to stop it and made a great stop but it just stayed right there and with the rain on the turf the ball slipped right by Makaela (Meister),” said Adna coach Juli Aselton. “I think the difference today was that nobody gave up. The other night we were kind of down after missing a player (to injury). Even though we kept telling each other not to give up the other night, tonight we actually did it.”
Kalama took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Josie Brandenburg knocked in that weather aided goal. The Chinooks then managed to hang onto their lead through the intermission and into the 69th minute before Adna was able to make hay on offense.
“We were in their half quite a bit. We kept putting the ball back in, and putting it back in, and time was running out so we knew we had to bring up some of our defenders to help,” explained Aselton. “Our big gamble worked.”
Kalama managed three shots in each half with Meister stopping five of them. Meanwhile, Adna put up a whopping 18 shots in the first half and a baker’s dozen more in the second half.
Zarine Walker was finally able to get Adna on the scoreboard with a goal off an assist from Jordyn Swenson. Just over a minute later it was Cierra Swenson who punched in a goal following a solid throw-in from Payton Aselton.
After holding Kalama off for the final 10 minutes Adna was officially state bound, again.
“It was pretty exciting. The one thing I’d have to say is these girls did not give up. They were in the locker room telling each other we’re going to do this so it’s not our last game and we’re going to do it for Coach Juli so it’s not her last game,” said Payton Aselton.
After the game the emotions let loose like the blast of a blunderbuss for the close-knit Pirates.
“I won’t lie, there was definitely tears. It was just a pretty amazing feeling that these girls, they’ve worked hard. They’ve worked really hard. When we scored that first one and then we went right back in for the second one everyone was just hugging everyone. It was very emotional for us,” said Juli Aselton. “You can say that we win a lot or we go to state a lot but the fact that we came back to win this one is just an overwhelming feeling.”
Adna will face Liberty Bell in the first round of the state tournament. Coach Aselton noted that the game will likely be played on Saturday in Winthrop.
“After the game Kalama said, ‘Man, you guys have a long trip ahead of you,’ Aselton noted. “We told them we don’t care. This is the happiest we’ve ever been to travel!”
Coach Aselton added that while the competition was nerve wracking, it was also thrilling to watch a mess of Central 2B League teams battle it out for top honors in the district.
“I’m so proud of our league. They’ve done so well,” Aselton said. “I’m really really happy for those other (C2BL) teams that we all get to go to state. It’s a pretty cool feeling compared to when we first started and there were only like two teams in the league.”