Central Valley got no love from Albi Stadium during Tuesday night’s opening round of the State 4A girls soccer tournament.
Despite having the advantage of playing close to home, the Bears saw their season short-circuited by a 2-1 loss to a Kentwood team that traveled from the far west side of the state in pursuit of its own state title dream.
CV jumped to a quick lead on Alex Richardson’s goal just 6 minutes into the match, but went into intermission tied at 1 after Kentwood’s Madison Fuller answered 11 minutes later.
And the Bears, who never really got into doing what they do best – which is to keep play wide and attack from the wing – ultimately found no answer for Kentwood’s winning goal, which came off the foot of Reilly Retz in the 68th minute.
“I have to give Kentwood credit,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said. “They worked their butts off and really, really pressured us. I just wish we could have played to our strength, which is to play it wide on the wings.
“But we didn’t force the issue enough, and every time we got away from that style, we fell into their trap.”
Richardson provided some early momentum for the Bears, but Kentwood’s answer – Fuller’s rocket from almost 35 yards out on the right wing – was emphatic.
“That was a heck of a shot,” Monrroy said.
Retz’s winner came during a strange exchange in front of CV’s net, during which several of the Bears seemed to quit on the play.
“There was confusion,” Monrroy said. “I think our girls were expecting a whistle and stop in play, but they did not stop play. It’s hard to lose on a goal like that. It felt like we gave that one away.
“I feel terrible for our seniors, but I’m still very proud of my girls. It was a great run.”
• Julia Moravec’s two first-half goals powered Lewis and Clark (18-1-1) to a 2-0 win over host Chiawana at Pasco. Sarah Wood made seven saves for the shutout. The first goal came on a counterattack, as Sarah Barrentine fed Moravec, who beat her defender for a 1-on-1 play with the goalkeeper. On the final goal, Moravec took Sarah Silha’s pass in stride and knocked home a shot at 21 minutes. LC will play Kentwood on the road in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
• State 3A: In the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Albi, Mt. Spokane dominated play throughout, but couldn’t push the ball past Decatur goalkeeper Kayla Lipston.
The result was a disappointing 2-0 loss that ended a magical season that saw the Wildcats claim their first district championship.
The Gators, despite limited opportunities, got a first-half goal from Hannah Herbert and added a penalty-kick goal by Abby McFaul midway through the second half to turn back the ’Cats in a very physical contest that saw both teams get a little chippy at times.
“Everything was there but the goals,” Mt. Spokane coach Ryan Campanella said. “But that’s the thing about soccer. You can be the team that has the ball down in (the opponent’s) end for 30 minutes of the first half and still come out scoreless – which is pretty much what happened to us.
“I thought we had a lot of opportunities early. We were able to beat their fullbacks and we had a couple of deep crosses to the back post, but, unfortunately, we didn’t have someone there to just tap that thing in.”
The Wildcats had some great scoring chances in the second half, but seemed sapped by McFaul’s penalty kick.
“That PK late in the second was one of those things that will break your back as a team – break your momentum,” Campanella said. “Our girls really wanted it and they tried to battle back, but it just didn’t happen.
“In the first 10 minutes, I felt like we did everything right but score. But that’s the way it rolls sometimes, and when you don’t get that goal, anxiety and frustration starts to set in.
“It’s unfortunate, because I really felt like we should be advancing to that next round.”
• State 1A: Ashley Cook-Cox scored three first-half goals to lead host Lakeside (14-4-1) to a 5-1 win over Kiona-Benton in an opener at Nine Mile Falls. Katie Baran scored the Eagles’ first goal and assisted on Cook-Cox’s final score, 1 minute before halftime. The Eagles, unbeaten in their last 11 matches, advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years. They’ll play Saturday at today’s winner between Newport and La Salle.