Friday’s State 2B Girls Soccer: Adna Falls to Kalama in State Semifinals
‘Bad Bounce’: Ricochet Goal in the 74th Minute Propels Chinooks to Title Game
By Jordan Nailon
SUMNER — After suffering through five years of disappointment in state semifinals the Pirates were confident that this was going to be the year when everything changed.
Along the way Adna zipped through the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record while outscoring their opponents by a staggering count of 82-3. Those league wins included a pair of shutouts against Kalama. On Friday night though Kalama was able to down Adna for the second time during the postseason with a 1-0 win in the 2B girls soccer semifinals here at Sunset Chev Stadium.
“There isn’t much to say after six years besides, ‘Man, that kind of stinks,’” lamented Adna coach Juli Aselton as she continued to search for the right words after the Pirates’ sad postgame gathering.
The Chinooks were able to net what would wind up as the winning goal after more than 74 minutes of deadlocked competition on the pitch. That score was knocked home by Melanie Martinez following a corner kick that devolved into a scene more reminiscent of a hairy rugby scrum than the typical ballet of the beautiful game.
After Adna’s goalkeeper Makaela Meister dove to stop a shot attempt toward the near corner of the goal the ball wound up deflecting toward the opposite, and empty, end of the goal. That ricochet set Martinez up with the can’t-miss shot from point-blank range.
“We stopped the first one and then it bounced out and their player was in the right spot to put it back in. But we had two or three of those ourselves and it’s just crazy when you think about how close the ball was to the goal,” noted Adna coach Juli Aselton. “But of course, to these girls that doesn’t mean a whole lot when we didn’t get the win.”
Compared to their surprising 2-0 loss to Kalama in the District 4 title game the Pirates were able to muster a much more formidable offense on Friday. Adna had numerous chances to break up the battle of attrition before the Chinooks posted their goal. For the game the Pirates put up close to ten shots on goal while Kalama notched just two official shot attempts.
Around the 60th minute Adna had a look at the goal that was eerily similar to the Chinooks lone score. The play opened up with a corner kick from the right side and included an all-out sliding shot attempt by Jordyn Swenson that bounced off a congress of Kalama defenders clogging up the lane in front of the goal. A series of furious kicks in the midst of the madness proved unfruitful for Adna before the ball came bounding out of the box and out of bounds to end the the threat.
Kalama goalkeeper Mary Morrell also made a pair of full-extended leaping saves in the second half that sent well-placed shots from the Pirates hurtling harmlessly over the crossbar.
“It was a fairly even game and I thought we did have some chances,” said Aselton. “I think we played 99 percent better than we did in districts. In the end the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”
Aselton noted that she challenged her players to keep Kalama’s Martinez and Ryann Bailey out of scoring position in their semifinal rematch. While Martinez was able to boot home the winning goal thanks to that one lucky bounce, Aselton felt that the Pirates were successful in limiting the impact of the Chinooks’ two most prominent offensive players.
“We talked a lot about covering number 10 (Martines) and 13 (Bailey) and that was our major accomplishment tonight. We really, really marked them well,” said Aselton. “We are proud of all of them. All of them did what we asked them to do. They went in and played some different positions. They worked through being tired and sore. They worked hard, but it is disappointing.”
In the first game of the day at Sunset Chev Stadium Liberty Bell fell to St. George’s 4-1 in the other half of the semifinal bracket. Adna will face Liberty Bell at 10 a.m. on Saturday in Sumner in order to determine who will take home the state third place trophy this season.
“We watched them the first half of the game and they’ve got some good players. It looked like maybe their keepers weren’t too experienced. I think if we come in and play like we did today we’re going to be totally fine,” said Aselton. “That’s why after the game we all go home together on the bus. We eat together on the bus. You know, they’re sad for awhile and then pretty soon they start picking each other up and tomorrow morning we’ll be back and get after it again. I don’t want to come back and not play well. We want to come back and finish on a high note.”