State 1B/2B Girls Soccer: Hurricanes Wreck Adna’s Weekend Plans

Images from a State 2B girls soccer tournament semifinal game between Adna and Mount Vernon Christian at Sunset Stadium in Sumner on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Diminishing Returns: Early Semifinal Lead Evaporates Against Mt. Vernon Christian

By Jordan Nailon

jnailon@chronline.com

SUMNER — The Pirates posted an early goal here at Sunset Stadium in the 1B/2B girls soccer state semifinals but found themselves in a familiar and disappointing spot once the final whistle blew. Like so many seasons before, Adna came up just short of advancing to the state championship game on Friday as they fell 2-1 to the Hurricanes of Mt. Vernon Christian.

Payton Aselton gave the Pirates a 1-0 advantage just nine minutes into the contest when she leveraged an awkward backspin bounce off the turf in order to catch the goalkeeper out of position.

Twenty minutes later, though, the Hurricanes took advantage of a frenzy of activity directly in front of Adna’s goal to notch a controversial score that evened things up. As the ball bounced around at point blank range the Adna defense never quit competing to clear the area until the referee unexpectedly ruled that the ball had crossed the goal line. Numerous Pirates emphatically protested the call as Abby Russell celebrated her game-tying score but their testimony fell on deaf ears and the goal was allowed to stand.

“We scored first, which was great, and then it was just kind of a cluster on that one. I’m not quite sure. The keeper said she didn’t think it went in. Maybe it did,” said Adna coach Juli Aselton.

An injury to Adna midfielder Zarine Walker left the Pirates playing shorthanded and out of position for most of the remainder of the first half and the game stood tied at 1-1 when the teams retreated for the intermission.

A dozen minutes into the second half Adna appeared poised to retake the lead as Cierra Swenson closed in on the goalkeeper with no other defender between her and the net. When a scrambling defender caught up to Swenson from behind, however, their legs became entangled and the Pirates’ forward was left sprawled out face first on the turf. With no whistle to stop the play, Mt. Vernon Christian promptly reversed the field so that Sophia Schmaus could knock in what would become the game winning goal.

“It’s always tough for the girls when somebody goes down and people are concerned there and they kind of forget that the play has to keep going on until the ball goes out. The other team took advantage of the reversal on that and they were able to get by us,” lamented Aselton.

With their championship hopes on the line Adna pulled up their defenders in an effort to launch a last minute score. While the Pirates were able to put up a handful of shots down the stretch, none of them wound up particularly close as the Hurricanes hedged their bets by remaining focused on Adna’s most prolific scorers..

“I think they knew who to watch. They had done their research and a couple of times they had five girls on Payton (Aselton),” explained Coach Aselton.

Aselton noted that fatigue held her team back a bit at the end as her players pushed themselves beyond the brink of their abilities in order to try to secure the ever elusive trip to the state title game.

“Zarine went down but we had some replacements who went in that were doing okay. I think we had some girls who were cramping down the end and they didn’t want to come out. That’s a tough call to make,” Aselton said. “But the other team made some good runs and some good passes and we didn’t get the ball in the goal,” Aselton said.

Adna will play Onalaska at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Sunset Stadium in Sumner for third place.

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