Thursday’s 1A Girls Soccer: Bad Breaks Bust Beavers Hopes for League Title
1A Evergreen League: Game Tying Goal in 72nd Minute Reversed in 1-0 Loss to Montesano
By Jordan Nailon
TENINO — There was an unnatural moment late in the game here Thursday night when time seemed to stand still and the misting rain that coated the black synthetic turf with a million scattered diamonds began to hover, suspended in place by invisible strings descending from the heavens. As the moment of suspended reality stretched out like taffy in a dream state the hometown fans were over the moon celebrating their seemingly good fortune after a cross field kick from Brieanna Dell lodged high in the far back corner of the net.
That phantom goal, in the 72nd minute of play, would have tied the game at 1-1, in a match that was to determine the outright winner of the 1A Evergreen League girls soccer title.
Unfortunately for all of the Beaver believers in attendance the clock never really did quit rolling and the black and white ball never did find its way inside the goal. It was as that reality swept through the covered grandstand that both a palpable hush of disbelief and a hard rain began to fall.
That brutal reversal of fortune left Tenino looking up at Montesano in the final league standings as they fell 1-0 in their regular season finale.
“I thought it was in! I thought it was in until I saw it roll out from the back of the goal and I realized it went over and not in. I’ll watch it again on the film but it’s got to be a foot or two. It wasn’t off by very much at all,” said Tenino coach Kevin Schultz. “They sounded the horn so they thought it was in. I sure thought it was in.”
Montesano staked out an early lead when Anna Ayres scored a goal in the 10th minute off of an assist from Brooke Streeter. It wound up being all the leash the Bulldogs would need.
“Going up early 1-nothing kind of gave us an edge on the game but we knew it was going to be a long haul trying to stay up all game,” said Montesano coach Fidel Sanchez. “I was expecting a tight match but I wasn’t expecting this much of a physical match and our girls didn’t respond well to that.”
Indeed, Tenino played a physical brand of soccer all night long that had Bulldogs splayed out on the turf on more than a handful of occasions.
“I think both teams understood what was at stake and both teams brought it,” noted Schultz. “Really the difference in the game was we made a mistake where we, on a goal kick, kicked the ball to them and they punished us for it, and they didn’t make that simple mistake. Other than that it was a very even game between the two teams.”
The first half saw Tenino scrambling to reverse the ball from deep inside their own territory for extended durations. It’s a sight that the Beavers fans have not witnessed very often this season as stout defense and ball control have paved the way to sustained success.
“I think we got a little bit away from the way that we wanted to play at times, especially in the first half where we didn’t really possess the ball very well, but in the second half I thought we passed the ball a lot better,” said Schultz, who praised the play of goalkeeper Abby Severse.
“Abby has a done a great job for us. She stepped in when Maria (Collins) has been out the last three games. Just a freshman she’s done some great stuff for us. She reads the game well from back there and knows when to come off her line and when to stay,” explained Schultz.
The high stakes game also served as senior night for the veteran heavy Tenino squad. Seniors on the Beavers this year include Maddi Hohner, Courtney Dodge, Lara Kershaw, Aly Vestal, Charlie Letts, Rhian Mathis, Kaylee Schow, Haley Marchesano, and Collins.
In the immediate aftermath of the disappointing loss on their home turf Schultz tried his best to put a positive forward spin on his team’s accomplishments thus far this year. He was also looking forward to the postseason opportunities that his squad has earned as the second seed out of the 1A Evergreen League to the district tournament.
“It’s one of those things where like ya we would have loved to have gotten a bye and gotten the league championship and stuff but we get to play another home game which is kind of cool. The seniors get to play another home game in front of their fans and if we bring this kind of energy next Tuesday I think we’ll be fine,” said Schultz.
Tenino (11-4-1, 5-3 league) will host La Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the first round of the District 4 1A girls soccer tournament.