Some may say Adna has had an easier road this season playing in the Central 2B League’s top-heavy South Division, generally regarded as overall weaker than the North Division, which features three powerhouse programs.
And on Saturday in the opening round of the District IV playoffs, the top-seeded and undefeated North Division champion Pirates may have just edged the South’s No. 4 seed, Stevenson, 1-0. But it was a better result than the three South powers (No. 1 Onalaska, No. 2 Kalama and No. 3 Toledo) had against the Bulldogs, as all three had to win in penalty kicks.
Adna coach Horst Malunat can see why. The Bulldogs (4-4) packed the box and played on the defensive all match, forcing the high-scoring Pirates (49 goals on the year) to beat their higher numbers around goal.
But, for the ninth game in a row, Adna came out on top, this time with a Summer White goal off an assist from Joey Swenson in the 47th minute to put the Pirates on top for good.
“They’re a tough team to score on,” Malunat said. “I can see why the South Division had trouble with them. The first half was bad but we got better in the second half... Saturday is not the typical routine for our girls. Mentally, it’s tough for the kids.”
The victory sends the Pirates to the semifinal round where they will host the South’s No. 2 seed, Kalama (6-2), at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Both of the Chinooks’ losses came to South Division champion Onalaska (7-1).
“We’ll have to take care of Kalama,” Malunat said. “Kalama will be tough.”
Junior Cierra Russ scored a hat trick and tacked on an assist as Onalaska put on a scoring display during a 9-0 shutout of Napavine in the opening round of the District IV playoffs at home Saturday.
Brooklyn Sandridge added two goals and three assists, while Hailey Brown, Callie Lawrence, Juliana Escalera and Jillian Gifford each scored goals as well for the Loggers. Keeper Alex Cleveland-Barrera added one assist.
Napavine ends its season with a 2-6 overall record, with both wins coming against South Division foe Forks.
Onalaska, the Central 2B League’s South Division champions, moves to 7-1 overall and hosts Ocosta (8-2) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Wildcats, the South’s No. 2 seed, were 2-1 winners over third-seeded Toledo on Saturday.
Toledo’s season came to an end during a 2-1 loss to Ocosta in Grayland Saturday afternoon.
The Indians’ lone goal came from Rose Dillon in the second half to tie it up at 1-1 after the Wildcats scored on their only shot of the first half to hold a 1-0 lead at the break.
“I don’t think the score tells the entire story,” Toledo coach Noel Vazquez said. “We had them on their backs most of the game.”
The Indians held Ocosta to only two shots on goal the entire match and held possession for about 80% of the game, Vazquez said, but the Wildcats made the most of the few opportunities they had.
The Indians were hampered by two crucial injuries, one to senior outside-left Keylin Plancarte, and also to sophomore Teresa Cothren, who moved to outside-left to fill in.
Tough Toledo surely had much bigger goals, this was not a disappointing season by any stretch. The Indians were able to make it through a shortened season during a pandemic, started their first game with only five practices under their belts and defeated the South Division champion (Onalaska) twice. Five seniors played their final game for the Indians.
“We had a lot of fun and bright spots, which makes me look forward to next season,” Vazquez said. “Our goal was to play every game like we left everything out there, and I think we did that.”