Bearcats Ease Past Eagles in Season Opener

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Junior Cam Sheets scored two goals and Lena Fragner and Maddy Casper each added one as W.F. West had no trouble garnering a 4-1, non-league, season-opening road victory over Class 1A Elma on Saturday.

W.F. West coach Allen Anderson said the Bearcats did well building off the two 20-minute jamboree matches they played in Centralia on Thursday.

“Overall, I was really happy with the girls’ performance for it being our first game,” Anderson said. “Elma’s a good 1A school. They’re a really physical and a fast-paced team. It was a really good test for us coming out of the gate.”

The Bearcats played shorthanded with only a few substitutes with some players on vacation for Labor Day Weekend. It didn’t matter as the remaining Bearcats put together an all-around effort to hold off the Eagles at every turn.

Casper got the Bearcats on the scoreboard early after knocking in a header off a throw-in from Elizabeth Patana in the 16th minute. Later in the first half, Sheets scored off a cross from Olivia Remund to make it 2-0 at the half.

“We came out with a little bit of nerves, but once we settled down, I thought we had pretty good control of the match with our midfielders,” Anderson said. “Our experience definitely started to show the longer the game went on.”

Five minutes into the second half, Fragner notched her goal off a cross from Remund. Eight minutes later, in the 53rd minute, Sheets scored her second goal of the night and the Bearcats’ final goal off a throw-in from Patana to make it 4-0. Elma closed out the scoring with a garbage-time goal in the 79th minute.

Anderson praised the play of his wingers, Fragner, Remund and Patana, with all three contributing either a goal or an assist.

“That played a big role for us,” Anderson said. “I thought we did a good job attacking down the wings and stretching them out. That really helped with our offense.”

After losing a large and talented senior class, Anderson was pleased to see this group of girls step in and pick up right where the team left off last season. Having seven seniors this year has helped with that, he said.

“It wasn’t like we were completely starting over this year after losing a big class,” Anderson said. “The seven seniors have been able to get experience the past three years.”

W.F. West (1-0) continues non-league play against another Class 1A opponent when it hosts Montesano at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Bulldogs are defending co-1A Evergreen League and District 4 champions.

“It should be a good contest for us,” Anderson said. “I’m pretty excited for that one.”