Falling behind in the opening minutes, and letting Eatonville get back into it in the second half were of no consequence to a resilient Tenino boys soccer team Monday night on the road in Eatonville, as the Beavers weathered every punch in a 4-2 victory.
The Cruisers got on the board first with a fourth minute goal after getting caught off guard on a long throw-in, but responded with three goals over the next 15 minutes to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the blink of an eye.
“They caught us off guard a little bit on a long throw-in,” Beavers coach Kevin Schultz said. “But we did a good job of responding.”
Paydon Henderson scored in the 10th minute off a feed from Tyler Minerich, and two minutes later David Espinoza scored off a find from Tristan Whitaker. Then Whitaker got in on the scoring action himself with an unassisted goal in the 17th minute.
But that lead wouldn’t hold up. Eatonville got on the board again after a strong opening for the Beavers, scoring in the 62nd minute to reduce the deficit to just one with plenty of time left, but Henderson found the back of the net again in the 72nd minute to record the brace, and effectively ice the game late.
Schultz called Henderson’s goal one of the Beavers’ best this season.
“I’m proud of our response to finish out the game and get the last goal,” Schultz said. “Paydon’s second goal was one of the nicest goals we’ve had this year. Really happy with how we responded after giving up the two goals.”
Schultz said Whitaker played a strong game in the front, and Max Craig, who didn’t find a goal, was creating plenty of chances on the wing.
“Max was doing a good job of creating chances, he was dangerous,” Schultz said. “He’s always such a weapon out there because of his speed and physicality.”
The Beavers (8-7, 7-6 1A Evergreen) have just one game left in the regular season, a home finale against Ilwaco for senior night in a winner-to-districts, loser-out contest on the Black Top Wednesday.