Haight’s Goal Enough to Send Loggers Past Tigers and on to State


TENINO — Though the first match of the 2B District 4 girls soccer playoff placement round between Onalaska and Napavine wasn’t for a trophy, it could not have had much higher stakes between two rivals Saturday morning on the Black Top at Tenino Beaver Stadium. 

The familiar foes had last played in a nonleague contest in early September — a matchup the Tigers won, 2-1 — but on a cold and blustery district third-place game, the Loggers punched their ticket to state with a 1-0 victory. 

With a lineup that regularly features mostly freshmen, an eighth grader, and just one senior, that lone Ony upperclassman was proud of how far her team has come in such a short time this season. 

“It means a lot, this is a young team and they have such a good future,” senior Logger Brooklyn Sandridge said. “The fact that they’re able to execute what we’ve been practicing at such a young age and just listen and keep calm, I’m really proud of them. We got third in districts and are gonna play at state, that’s really good for us.”

In a mostly back-and-forth affair on the field, the Loggers took advantage of one of a few chances in the first half, and their defense held on tight the rest of the way for the 1-0 victory. 

Sandridge ran up the left side of the field, fired a shot toward Napavine keeper Taylen Evander, who made the initial save but lost control of it right to the foot of Randi Haight, who fired what would turn out to be the game-winning goal in the 26th minute. 

After that, it was all about the Logger defense, which snuffed out Tiger attacks before they got too deep for most of the game. When the Tigers did get a shot off, Logger keeper Hailee Brown scooped them up, recording five saves for the clean sheet. 

After a disappointing and heartbreaking defeat to Adna in the district semifinals on Thursday, the Loggers had some added motivation, especially on the defensive end, in the win. 

“Props to the defense because they were running all over the place the entire game and they found it inside them to keep going,” Sandridge said. “They knew they didn’t want what happened Thursday to happen again today. It was pure grit, this is the best technical game that we’ve played as far as passing goes, but when everyone got tired, we wanted it more.”

The Tigers meanwhile, again finished just one win shy of the state playoffs for the second straight season, after falling in the first round of districts a year ago with a young group. Napavine graduates just one senior, Dani Tupuola, as the Tigers season has come to an end. 

The Loggers, meanwhile, will await their postseason fate Sunday, when around noon the seedings are announced for the state tournament starting early next week. 

“I am very grateful,” Sandridge said. “I had to mentally prepare myself to lose this game because I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I didn’t give up and wanted to lead the team, and it means a lot that they showed up for me too today.”