Central Valley found a way to survive a spate of missed scoring opportunities in the opener of Saturday afternoon’s 4A Regional soccer doubleheader at Gonzaga Prep.
But in the nightcap, the host Bullpups didn’t.
Which means CV, the No. 1 seed out of the Greater Spokane League and a 3-0 winner over Eisenhower of Yakima, advances to Tuesday’s opening round of the State 4A tournament, while G-Prep, the GSL’s No. 2 seed, sacks up the balls following a 1-0 kick-in-the-stomach loss to Chiawana.
In another regional showdown held in Richland on Saturday, Lewis and Clark, the GSL’s No. 3 seed, knocked off the host Bombers to give the GSL a second team at state.
The Tigers will play Chiawana in the first round of the state tournament, while CV takes on the No. 8 seed that emerges from the District 3/4 regional.
• CV 3, Eisenhower 0: The Bears refused to fold under the weight of their blown scoring opportunities – including a couple from point-blank range early in the second half, and climbed on the broad shoulders of their defense until a goal by Holly Miller at the 67-minute mark awakened the offense.
Miller, a freshman midfielder, took a crossing pass from teammate Alex Richardson in full slide near the left side of the goal and beat both a sliding Eisenhower defender and diving Cadet goalkeeper to open the scoring against the Columbia Basin Big Nine’s No. 3 seed.
About 7 minutes later, forward Sara Grozdanich – another freshman – scored on a rebound to put the Bears up 2-0 before Richardson, a senior forward, capped the scoring by heading in a cross from Paige Ellingson in the game’s final minute.
“It took us a while to come together,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said. “The first half we had a hard time just settling down. This is kind of new to us, so I think our girls were a little anxious.
“I told them at halftime that all we needed to do was calm down – and once we did, we took control of the game.”
Miller’s goal helped speed up the calming process.
“I had confidence in our team that we would eventually get a goal,” Miller said. “And once we did, I think it really encouraged the team and proved that we could.”
Miller was slow to get up after scoring her goal and left the game with an apparent injury.
“I hit my head on the ground really hard,” she said of her premature departure. “But it was worth it.”
• Chiawana 1, G-Prep 0: The Bullpups dictated the pace of play throughout the match, outshooting the Big Nine’s No. 2 seed by a lopsided 14-5 margin.
But they never came up with a definitive answer to the Pasco school’s lone goal, which came off the left foot of senior defender Kelly Ashley from about 35 yards out in the 25th minute of the match.
“We did everything we need to do to win the game, except score,” G-Prep coach Christian Birrer said. “We had the lion’s share of the ball, and we really grew into the game. Every minute of the game we just got better and better, and by the end, we were having all the chances, and keeping them down to just a few, if any.”
Kelly, a converted forward, scored the game’s only goal with a laser-like blast from near the left sideline that found the upper-right corner of the net.
“That’s one reason we have her at left back,” Riverhawks coach Rich Zoller said. “She has a great left foot, and it produced a terrific game-winner for her today.”
G-Prep responded admirably to Kelly’s goal, creating a couple of decent scoring chances prior to intermission.
And the Bullpups peppered Chiawana senior goalkeeper Carmen Avila – who finished with 10 saves – with shots on goal throughout the second half, only to get stopped on each opportunity.
Particularly perplexing to Birrer, was the unproductive wave of shot attempts his Bullpups had right in front of the Hawks’ goal at about the 52nd minute, when a full-flip throw-in by senior forward Chelsea Kerley created a wild scrum in front of Avila, who batted away three balls seemingly destined for the back of the net.
“Oh, so close,” Birrer said of the series of missed shots. “There were a couple of times I actually thought the ball was in the net and started celebrating, but then found out it wasn’t.
“Still, I was proud of the girls. It’s a tough way to go out.”
• Lewis and Clark 2, Richland 1: The Tigers spotted host Richland a 1-0 lead late in the second half, but answered with back-to-back goals by Gaby Kennedy and Devyn Galland just 5 minutes apart to keep their state title hopes alive.
Bria Caldwell scored for the Bombers, the No. 1 seed out of the CBBN, in the 68th minute, leaving LC with little time for a comeback. But the Tigers responded with two quick goals, the first coming off an assist from Madisen Stewart, and the winner coming off an assist by Jess Kennedy.
LC goalkeeper Sarah Wood finished with six saves, as both teams got off nine shots.
Richland goalkeeper Shelby Long had five saves.
• Mt. Spokane 3, Southridge 2: Alli Floyd scored a pair of goals and assisted on the third as the Wildcats (10-6) scored all three of their goals in the second half to edge the Suns in Kennewick and take the top seed out of the regional to state.
• East Valley 3, Ellensburg 0: After a scoreless first half, the Knights (13-6) received two goals from Amanda Bleisner 10 minutes apart to eliminate the Bulldogs in Ellensburg.
The Knights will play East Valley (Yakima) in the opening round of the state tournament.
• Othello 2, Pullman 0: Marissa Martinez scored a goal and added an assist as the Huskies held the Greyhounds (13-5-1) scoreless in Pullman.
• Lakeside 4, Okanogan 0: Ashley Cook-Cox scored two goals with an assist and Katie Baran added a goal and an assist as the Eagles (13-4-1) eliminated the Bulldogs in Nine Mile Falls. The Eagles will host Kiona-Benton in the first round of the state tournament at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday
• Cashmere 3, Colville 2 (SO): Gaby Gonzalez scored both regulation goals for the Bulldogs, who outscored the Indians (9-8) 3-2 in the shootout to advance to the state tournament in Cashmere.
• Newport 7, Cascade 0: McKenzie Krough finished with two goals and an assist as the Grizzlies (15-3-1) defeated the Kodiaks in Leavenworth to advance to the state tournament.