It would take a penalty-kick shootout to decide Saturday’s Class 1A District IV championship game between Montesano and Tenino.
In the end, the Bulldogs had to settle for second place.
Megan Letts and Grace Vestal each scored penalty-kick shootout goals while Tenino goalkeeper Abby Severse saved all four shots she faced as the Beavers downed the Bulldogs, 2 penalty kicks to 0, to win the title at Tenino High School with a game score of 1-0.
For most of regulation and the two overtime periods, Montesano controlled the pace of play, spending much of its time in Tenino’s final third of the pitch and outshooting the undefeated Beavers 9-3, with six of Monte’s shots on target.
Monte’s best chance to break the scoreless tie came midway through the second half when Jaiden Morrison took a through pass in the middle of the field, cut back to the right as Tenino defenders converged on her position, and blasted a shot from inside the box that missed wide.
“That was the one I thought was going to go in,” Monte head coach Fidel Sanchez said. “We were on their side of the field most of the night. We were the ones connecting on passes and kept the ball moving forward.”
But the game remained tied until the final whistle and through two overtime periods, meaning the district title would be decided in a shootout.
Sanchez made a tactical move ahead of the shootout, replacing starting goalkeeper Ellie Barbo, who had a clean sheet against the league champs, with the taller Paige Lisherness.
The strategy worked as Lisherness stopped two of the four shots she faced in the shootout, which is a result typically good enough to earn a victory.
“I wanted to throw (Tenino) a curveball,” Sanchez said of the keeper switch. “We made the switch because of (Lisherness’) tall frame and reach, and it worked, but we just couldn’t get the ball past the keeper.”
Dealing with such a gut-wrenching loss, Sanchez encouraged his team to turn the page as the state tournament begins next week.
“We just said (to the players) to keep your heads held high. You played a heck of a game,” he said. “We had a game plan, and they did it to a tee. … This game is not fair sometimes, but forget this loss and let’s move forward and get ready for state.”
Monte will host Bush in the first round of the state playoffs at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Jack Rottle Field.
Brooke Streeter’s penalty-kick goal in the 31st minute of the game was all the scoring Montesano needed as the Bulldogs advanced to the 1A District IV championship game with a 1-0 win over La Center on Nov. 7 at Tenino High School.
Monte nearly got on the board midway through the first half when senior Anna Ayres blasted a shot that beat the La Center keeper but clanged off the crossbar.
With just under 10 minutes left in the first half, Streeter made a play on a 50-50 ball sent toward the La Center goal. The junior midfielder was fouled by a late-arriving La Center defender, and sent the subsequent penalty-kick into the top left corner for a 1-0 lead.
And the Bulldogs defense made it stick. In a game that Monte head coach Fidel Sanchez stated was mostly played in the midfield, Montesano’s defense allowed just two shots on goal, both of which being non-dangerous attempts that were easily scooped up by Bulldogs keeper Ellie Barbo.
“Anything (La Center) got through the midfield, our defense stopped them from going forward,” Sanchez said. “We recovered well, were organized with the ball and kept possession going the other way.”
The dominance of the Aberdeen girls swim team continues.
Aberdeen scored 435 total points to easily claim its seventh straight 2A District IV championship on Saturday at the Grays Harbor YMCA.
Anika Eisele led the way for Aberdeen with individual district titles in the 100 yard backstroke (1:03.21) and 100 yard butterfly (1:00.03).
Eisele will have plenty of company at the upcoming WIAA State Swim and Dive meet as multiple Bobcats earned trips to the state championships.
Bobcats swimmers Melissa May, Anna Weber and Aliyah Tageant all qualified in multiple individual events with top three finishes on Saturday.Weber placed second to qualify in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, with May placing third behind Weber to also qualify in both events. Tageant took third to qualify for state in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Aberdeen diver Tatum Heikkila scored 253.55 points to place third in the 1-meter dive event, earning a trip to the state meet in the process.
The depth of the Bobcats team was shown in the performances of its relay squads as both the 200 freestyle team (Juliana Meza, Eisele, Annetthe Orona, May) and 400 freestyle team (Eisele, Tageant, Orona, Weber) earned district titles with times of 1:49.99 and 4:02.26, respectively.
Aberdeen’s 435 points was nearly 200 points better than second-place Tumwater (246). Black Hills (238) placed third with Washougal (232) and Mark Morris (177) rounding out the top five.
The district championship is the seventh straight for head coach Jan Simons’ Bobcats, and the program’s 12th over the past 19 years.
The state meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
PREP CROSS COUNTRY
Twin Harbors athletes compete at state meet
Ocosta’s Dylan Todd ran a time of 17:02.80 to place 19th at the 1B/2B State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
Todd’s finish was the highest for an Ocosta runner since Todd Arnold won the state title with a time of 16:09 in 1999.
Fellow Ocosta teammates Matthew Idso (18:07) placed 71st with twin brother William placing 89th (18:20).
Ocosta’s Natalie Cain ran a time of 22:10 to place 47th in the girls state meet on Saturday.
In the 2A state race, also held on Saturday at Sun Willows, Aberdeen’s Gary Sherman ran a time of 17:05.30 to place 72nd overall in the boys 5K race while Bobcat Skyler Taylor placed 121st in the girls race with a time of 22:28.30.
In the 1A state race, held at the same location, Hoquiam freshman Timmy Higgins placed 93rd (17:53.90 in the boys race. Grizzly Macie German, also a freshman, placed 138th with a time of 23:30.50 in the girls race.
Montesano’s Aric Jacklin placed 106th in the boys race with a time of 18:01.50.
Elma’s Tyler Bristow ran a time of 18:42.90 to place 136th in the 1A state boys race.