Tenino girls soccer broke off four consecutive victories to capture its own third-annual Battle on the Black Top girls soccer tournament, culminating in a 4-2 shootout win over W.F. West on Saturday.
“It was a lot of fun,” Tenino coach Kevin Schultz said. “Obviously we talked about wanting to win our own tournament and defend our own field. That’s something we talked about in the regular season, too. You want to win at home, especially in front of your fans.”
After a 2021 season that saw limited spectators due to restrictions from the pandemic, Stone City fans came out in full force to support the Beavers over the three-day tourney that ran from Thursday to Saturday.
And this year’s championship game was a rematch of 2019’s title game (2020 was canceled due to the pandemic). W.F. West won that year, 1-0. Schultz said it was gratifying to exact revenge this year.
“There was a little bit of that redemption factor,” Schultz said. “Everytime we seem to play them — we played them twice during the regular season and a few times during the summer — they’re always really good, competitive games. Several of the girls on each team know each other. It just makes the game fun. Coming out on top in those games is always special.”
On Saturday, the Beavers and Bearcats played to a 0-0 stalemate in regulation. Beavers keeper Trinity Tafoya and Bearcats keeper Carlie Deskins each made two saves.
In the penalty-kick shootout, Tafoya tallied two stops while Morgan Miner, Megan Letts, Grace Vestal and Kamryn Oliviera each made PKs to give the Beavers victory. For W.F. West, Maddie Casper and Olivia Remund each connected on PKs.
On Thursday, Tenino kicked off the opening game of the tourney with a 4-0 win over rival Rochester. Adna defeated Class 4A Olympia 2-1 and W.F. West fell 5-1 to Yelm.
On Friday, Tenino beat Yelm 4-2, W.F. West shutout Adna 2-0 and Olympia blanked Rochester 3-0. On Saturday, leading up to the title game, Tenino took down Adna 4-0 in the morning, then the Pirates won a 3-2 PK shootout with Rochester.
Shultz said he’s pleased with what he’s seeing out of his team right now, especially offensively, and especially considering the program’s all-time leading scorer, Brieanna Dell, recently graduated.
“We’re really excited about where we’re going,” Schultz said. “We scored four goals in each of our other three games this weekend, and we’re getting goals from a lot of different players. We’re seeing players develop and pick up new roles.”
Schultz commended the performances of Miner, Vestal, Emma Barr and Megan Letts. Miner, who scored 16 goals as a sophomore in 2019-20, was down to just one goal as a junior last season and Schultz can see her getting back to double-digit scoring this year.
“She’s really been stepping up this summer,” Schultz said.
He expects Vestal and Letts to lead the team from the midfield, and he also liked what he saw out of Tafoya, who moved to goal to allow former first-team, all-league keeper Abby Severse to move out onto the field and into the offense.
“I think we really have a front six that’s really deadly and it’s hard (for opposing teams) to focus on one player,” Schultz said. “So we’re excited about that.”
The Beavers, just like every other high school girls soccer team in the state, will have the next three weeks off and will use player-led workouts to keep in shape.
Tenino will next hit the field Sept. 2 when it heads to the Hub City for a preseason jamboree. The Beavers will then kick off the regular season when it hosts Centralia in a non-league match on Sept. 7.