Tuesday’s 1A Girls Soccer: Beavers Skunked by Klahowya in State Opener
Expiration Date: Tenino Sees Inspired Season Come to an End
By Jordan Nailon
BREMERTON — A special season on the pitch came to an unceremonious end for the Tenino Beavers here Tuesday night as they fell flat against Klahowya in a 7-0 loss in the opening round of the State 1A girls soccer playoffs.
Klahowya entered the contest as the Olympic League champions, West Central District Champions, and ranked second in the state according to most projections. The Eagles spent Tuesday night proving their bonafides and stoking their credentials for a run at the state title.
Tenino managed to hold the game at a scoreless tie for the first 15 minutes of the game and even had the Eagles on the run briefly thanks to some aggressive counter play intended to get their primary offensive weapon, forward Brieanna Dell, in position to score.
The Beavers’ dam began to burst in the 16th minute, though, when Hope Martin was able to put a slick move on her defender in the corner and then glance an angled shot off an outstretched glove of Tenino goalkeeper Maria Collins to open the scoring.
Just over a minute later Dell broke loose with a scoring opportunity of her own, put the ball into the net, and sent the traveling Tenino faithful into a tizzy.
The dynamic Tenino sophomore, though, knew that the ball had sailed wide and into the side of the net and cast a subsequent hush over the crowd as she turned to the grandstand and demonstratively waved off the goal along with the subsequent cascade of cheers.
The Tenino scoring opportunities dried up for good shortly thereafter as the Eagles turned up the heat on the offensive end.
In the 24th minute Klahowya’s Alyssa Peters scored a goal on a straight ahead boot with a dollop of English that spun the ball past the outstretched gloves of Collins. Shortly thereafter Kayden Eckley lofted a left-footed kick high into the corner of the goal before she went on to blast in a bending score during stoppage time to secure a 4-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Tenino coach Kevin Schultz noted that it is well known in soccer circles that the Klahowya roster is chock-full of full time futballers who have a heap of experience on the big stage.
“Part of what we talk about is the difference when you get to state and come up here and play these northern teams is at least half of these girls play soccer year round on a club team,” Schultz noted. “You know, I have three girls who play club soccer year round. That’s part of the difference is they’ve played the game more, they’re a little bit more experienced. They pass the ball well…and this is our first time to state.”
The second half provided hardly any consolation for the Beavers as the Eagles added three more goals to their tally. Rylee Radford notched the first backend score in the 48th minute and then Martin secured herself a hat trick with a greaseball goal in the 54th minute. Myla Clark capped the scoring with a header goal in the 75th minute.
Even in the thick of that onslaught by the Eagles, though, Tenino refused to concede the inevitable outcome and continued to compete. At one point Collins endured a series of offensive jukes deep in her keeper box and managed to block a screaming shot attempt with a fully outstretched left hand before standing up and letting out a primal scream.
It was a statement play by a proud senior in her final moments donning the red and black on the pitch. Schultz said it was indicative of the passion the senior class brought to the field every day during his first year at the helm in Teino.
“We don’t ever give up,” said Schultz. “I know that she was frustrated a little bit on the night and I think that save, and the yell, was just her letting some of the frustration out and letting people know that she is a quality goalkeeper and a good athlete.”
As time grew short in the second half Schultz began subbing out his senior players who were promptly treated to an outpouring of applause from their fans in the stands and their teammates on the bench. Tenino’s senior players included Maddi Hohner, Courtney Doge, Lara Kershaw, Aly Vestal, Charlie Letts, Rhian Mathis, Kaylee Schow, Haley Marchesnao, and Collins.
“It was just to show them that we appreciate them and give everyone a chance to send them off one more time,” explained Schultz. “We just wanted them to be recognized and then we also wanted some of our younger players to get a chance to play in a state game because we want to become a team that gets back here year after year, and kind of progress. Those players are going to be really good for us next year.”
In the aftermath of the disappointing outcome that put an end to his squady’s season Schultz remained openly grateful for the seniors who paved the way to the Beavers’ first state appearance since 2010.
“I really appreciate this group and the seniors and all of the work they did. They really made my first year the best that I could have really imagned. I mean yes, we would have liked to have gone on a run, but I don’t think that a year ago I could have envisioned standing here and it’s all a credit to them,” said Schultz. “They’ve kind of changed the program around from when they were freshmen when I think they won three or four games to their junior year when they get to districts for the first time in a long time and then this year and making it back to state. I just wanted them to remember their legacy and how they have changed a little bit of the culture and trying to create a positive atmosphere around athletics in the school, even beyond wins and losses.”
The Beavers finished their season with a record of 13-6-1. They finished second in the 1A Evergreen League and third in the District 4 crossover playoffs.