Tenino got the one opponent it hadn’t beaten this season, league rival Montesano, and couldn’t overcome the Bulldogs in a PK loss Saturday in the state quarterfinals.
In the two team’s fourth meeting this season, the Beavers played their best match of the four and battled to a 0-0 stalemate at the end of regulation. Then it went to PKs, something the Beavers practice every day.
“We feel super confident when we get to PKs,” Tenino coach Kevin Schultz said. “Montesano’s coach (Fidel Sanchez) said after the game they didn’t want to go to penalties with us.”
But the Bulldogs came up clutch, hitting four to Tenino’s two to secure the victory and put an end to Tenino’s season.
“We played really hard and tough,” Schultz said. We knew we’d have to defend and our defense was super solid. Our effort was really good. Really proud how hard they played and how much they got after it. Sometimes the game doesn't go your way. It just wasn't meant to be. I’m extremely proud of the girls.”
It marked the end of Tenino’s impressive run through the postseason, where the Beavers advanced to the district semifinals before losing to, of course, Montesano. They then knocked off Elma in a loser-out, winner-to-state match for the district’s third and final playoff spot. Elma had beaten Tenino twice during the regular season before that.
The Beavers were then handed the No. 15 seed at state and proceeded to topple No. 2 South Whidbey in PKs to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“Starting at (No.) 15 was tough,” Schultz said. “Then we played a team we hadn't beaten all year. Any team we played outside of league, we won. It was a battle and we really wished we had the opportunity to face anyone else to see how we stack up against the top eight outside our league.”
Tenino had its chances in regulation against Monte Saturday, but the Bulldogs’ keeper made a couple noteworthy saves to keep the Beavers off the scoreboard.
Eleven seniors played their final match for the Beavers. They are the first group Schultz has had all four years of their high school career, as he was hired as head coach four years ago.
They are the first Tenino girls soccer players in school history to qualify for state all four years. Two years ago, they helped the Beavers to the program’s first-ever state playoff win. In all, they’ve won 58 games the past four seasons.
“They’ve left a legacy,” Schultz said. “We knew they were going to compete on the field and that's what they did. Super thankful I had the opportunity to work with that group. They’ve helped change the culture and success in our community.”