ADNA — Changing the way things have been for a few years now, the Central 2B League introduced ties to league matchups, no longer having matches go to extra time and penalty kicks in the event of even scorelines after 80 minutes.
Wednesday, Napavine and Adna put the new regulation into practice at the earliest opportunity, sharing the points after a 1-1 draw in both sides’ league openers.
“You want to have a winner in these types of situations, but like they say in the pros, we’ll take the point,” Adna coach Patrick Richardson said.
It was a fair result for an early-season rivalry matchup that left both coaches happy with some parts of the game and wanting more from others.
The two sides spent most of the first half playing the ball back and forth in the middle third without much in the way of real possession, leading to a 0-0 line at the break. Adna came out of halftime looking slightly stronger — only to give away a chance in the 47th minute, which Napavine’s Hannah Fay took full advantage of with a low laser off her left foot to make it 1-0.
“She did that just right,” Napavine coach Mike Dieckman said.
That sparked even more Adna pressure, but for a while, it seemed like the ball just wouldn’t go in for the Pirates. Adna won a free kick from 30 yards out in the 54th minute, but while Lydia Tobin’s long shot beat Taylen Evander, it banged squarely off the crossbar and out, and a scrum of Pirates couldn’t knock it home.
A minute later, Napavine was whistled for a foul in the box, but Evander came up big, diving to her right to save Tobin’s penalty kick.
“She’s such a good goalkeeper,” Dieckman said.
Evander finished with nine saves — six in the second half — while Napavine wouldn’t manage another shot on target.
But just as it seemed the Tigers (1-1-2, 0-0-1 C2BL) had survived the wave of pressure, Adna won another free kick, this one from the wing. Margarite Humphrey send a low delivery to the top corner of the box, where Bailey Naillon collected, turned, and chipped a high arc shot into the back of the net to level the score.
“We got off to kind of a rocky start to start the second half, but it was like nothing changed,” Richardson said. “We just went right back into it and kept working towards it.”
For the Pirates (0-4-3, 0-0-1 C2BL), it’s the seventh straight match to open the season without a win, though a closer look shows that those six matches came against three 1A schools, two 3A schools, a 2B state quarterfinalist, and their main rivals. Adna will get the rest of the week to recover, then face Toledo at home next Monday.
“They’ll start to fall, and there will be opponents where it won’t be a problem getting them in the back of the net,” Richardson said. “Once they get that feeling, it’ll start rolling a bit, but you’ve just got to get there.”
Napavine, meanwhile, will get right back at it with a non-leaguer against Elma Thursday and another one against Eatonville next Monday, before returning to C2BL next Wednesday against Raymond-South Bend.