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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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GSL girls soccer: Early goal holds up for Mt. Spokane

It’s a rivalry that defies classification: 4A or 3A … none of that mattered Wednesday afternoon, as University and Mt. Spokane brought their “A” game to a crucial Greater Spokane League girls soccer match.

The biting wind at Mt. Spokane High School only made the players dig a little deeper, the rainy chill unable to dampen an old rivalry that defies U-Hi’s recent move to the 4A ranks.

“You could tell that by the way the kids played on the field,” Mt. Spokane coach Ryan Campanella said after his Wildcats outlasted U-Hi 1-0, a result that meant almost as much as it did when both schools were competing for District 3A titles.

In some ways it still does; both teams are contending for a high finish in the GSL – a point of pride for the Wildcats coach, whose girls team took the league crown two years ago and whose boys team won it all last spring.

With three games left, the Wildcats (6-0 in the GSL, 10-2 overall) hold a one-game lead over Central Valley, a 4-0 winner over Shadle Park.

“It’s a huge deal to win the GSL,” said sophomore midfielder Cait Perry, whose goal in the third minute proved to be the game-winner in a match that drew more than 100 fans on the cold, rainy day.

Taking advantage of a slick field, Perry got the ball at the top of the box and struck a hard shot that skimmed the grass under diving U-Hi goalkeeper Ryann Rydeen.

“I just aimed for the left and it went into the corner,” Perry said.

Perry’s goal was the difference in a match that was a statistical draw: 10 shots for each team. Rydeen made nine saves, compared with 10 for Mt. Spokane keeper Megan Nilsson.

U-Hi (4-2 GSL, 8-2 overall) had the better run of play midway though the first half – the Titans hit the crossbar in the sixth minute – and again late in the match as the Titan pressed to equalize.

“They really had us pinned down – you could tell they really wanted it,” Campanella said.

But the Wildcats were up to the task, despite not having played since Oct. 3. Campanella’s defense has given up just two goals in six GSL matches.

“They’re just wonderful girls, and a great team to coach,” Campanella said.

Elsewhere in the league, Alex Chambers scored the winner in the 72nd minute to lift Mead (4-2 GSL, 7-5 overall) to a 1-0 victory over visiting Gonzaga Prep (3-3, 6-4) that also kept the Panthers in the chase for a high seed at district. … Kelsey Turnbow scored a pair of goals and Central Valley (5-1, 10-1) won its fifth straight match, 4-0 over visiting Shadle Park (2-4, 4-6). Kasey Ames scored the opening goal for the Bears at 13 minutes and also assisted on the final goal, scored by Anna Hilbert.

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