Tenino had its chances at an equalizer against undefeated Elma but instead gave up an own goal in the 79th minute to take a 3-1 loss in Elma during 1A Evergreen League play on Friday.
Beaver coach Kevin Schultz said the team, which was coming off a 1-0 loss to Montesano, played much better tonight despite losing by a larger margin.
“We tried to be more defensive, catch me off guard with counter attacks and create chaos,” Schultz said. “But wouldn’t capitalize on it.”
The Eagles struck quickly, scoring in just the third minute with a goal from Valencia Mendoza off a throw-in.
The Beavers regained composure and fought back until Mendoza again found the back of the net after blasting a shot that looked like it would go straight into Tenino keeper Alex Reichelderfer’s hands but instead deflected into the back of the net to make it 2-0 Eagles.
Triston Whitaker finally gave the Beavers a spark in the 74th minute with a goal assisted by David Espinoza, which led to Tenino going on a frenzied comeback attempt to notch the equalizer.
But as the Beavers battled back, they surrendered an own goal in the 79th minute, putting the match out of reach.
“Proud of the boys,” Schultz said. “It was tough not to win but I was very happy with their effort.”
Reichelderfer finished with 14 saves on the night, while Schultz praised the play of him along with Zach Byer for creating havoc on defense, Paydon Henderson for his play in the middle and Max Craig for his counter attacks.
Tenino has two regular-season matches left: Eatonville on Monday and Ilwaco on Wednesday. The Beavers are currently one game up on Ilwaco and will need to beat the Fishermen to earn the league’s No. 4 seed. A loss would put the Beavers in fifth and result in a play-in game for the 1A District 4 tournament.