Bears claim District title

Central Valley's Kelsey Turnbow, right, turns and begins celebrating as her ball goes in the Mead net Friday at SFCC. (Jesse Tinsley)
Central Valley's Kelsey Turnbow, right, turns and begins celebrating as her ball goes in the Mead net Friday at SFCC. (Jesse Tinsley)

The Central Valley girls soccer team raised the bar a little higher Tuesday night. Coach Andres Monrroy wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’ve had something going for the past four years, and it’s become an expectation,” Monrroy said after the Bears won a 2-1 shootout over Mead to win the District 8 4A soccer title Tuesday night at Spokane Falls Community College.

Perhaps unburdened by those expectations because she has even higher ones, freshman forward Kelsey Turnbow scored the Bears’ lone goal, then scored the clincher in the shootout.

The win – avenging their only loss of the season – comes four days after CV overhauled the Panthers to win the Greater Spokane League title. Next up: a regional matchup Nov. 5 on the Bears’ home field against a team from the Mid-Columbia Conference.

“We’re pushing to get to the final four and now we’re on the way,” said CV senior goalkeeper Jessie Kunz-Pfeiffer, who saved two Mead kicks in a shootout that concluded a match that was full of drama at both ends.

“It’s too bad the game had to end like that,” Monrroy said. “Hat’s off to Mead – I wouldn’t want to have to play them again.”

Instead, Mead (12-3) will face Lewis & Clark – a 1-0 winner over Gonzaga Prep in the first game at chilly SFCC – on Friday night for the second seed in regionals.

The Bears (13-1) struck first in the 12th minute, midfielder Kasey Ames hit the left upright. The ball bounced across the goalmouth to freshman Kelsey Turnbow, who shot it past Mead keeper Ashlyn Juul and into the net

“We played a nice ball to Kasey, and I was lucky enough to finish it,” said Turnbow, a national-caliber player who was selected this year for U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program.

The Panthers equalized 6 minutes later, as midfielder Anna Kessler sent a through pass to Chae Brown, who turned and shot it past Kunz-Pfeiffer.

After an evenly-played first half, Central Valley gained momentum in the second, though Mead had a pair of great chances, including Brown’s blast that Kunz-Pfeiffer saved with a dive to her left.

CV held the advantage in the shooutout. Savannah Hoeksta, Sara Grozdanich and Taryn Miller made their shots, while Kunz-Pfeiffer saved two shots. That gave the Bears a 3-1 lead, which was cut 3-2 when Juul saved a shot by Ames and Mead’s Malia Maack connected in the fourth round.

Turnbow stepped up and calmly kicked the winner past a diving Juul.

Lewis & Clark 1, Gonzaga Prep 0: Alone at the top of the penalty box just 9 minutes into the match, Sarah Curran took a chance that paid off big.

“I thought I’d shoot and hope it went in,” said Curran, a sophomore forward, whose goal stood up thanks partly to a veteran Tigers back line that held the Bullpups to eight shots.

“It’s been strong all season,” said LC coach Katie Himmerich, whose team improved to 12-3 overall.

The Tigers had several chances to pad their lead, hitting the crossbar after a breakaway in the 54th minute and the post 6 minutes later.

LC keeper Sienna Tanner made five saves in her second straight shutout win.

G-Prep finished 9-8.

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