Yelm’s 4-1 loss Tuesday, Oct. 8, to Capital at home and a subsequent 1-0 defeat at North Thurston the following Thursday has the team reeling, but the squad isn’t giving up on the season.
Still, after a six-game losing streak, it’s unlikely the Tornados will be able to clinch a playoff berth.
“We just haven’t been able to start games and dig out of holes we should’ve been able to get out of,” said Head Coach Jay Dorhauer.
With a moderate array of talent across the field, Dorahuer said he and the Tornados (0-7-1 league) aren’t giving up the fight as they hope to best last year’s subpar performance and capitalize on a few late-season matchups.
With six league games left, Dorhauer said his girls can only afford to lose one more matchup for a chance at the postseason.
Dorhauer said most opponents are able to capitalize against Yelm early on and he believes the team being ill-prepared for play stems from a lack of focus in warmups.
“I think they’re afraid of losing energy during warmups, but you gotta break a sweat and get loose,” he said. “Your body has to be warmed up by the time that whistle blows.”
But that doesn’t mean the Tornados haven’t shown moments of brilliance in the last couple matchups.
Up against Capital, senior forward Rhiannon Lott capitalized on a clean strike close down the middle off a pass by senior forward Malia Paulson. Despite going scoreless against North Thurston, Dorhauer said his girls applied pressure well against the No. 3 team.
“We had the ball in their end 75 percent of the half. We dominated the half, but we just couldn’t score,” Dorhauer said.
Yelm has proven they can make big plays, but holding possession and capitalizing on those moves hasn’t happened yet.
But unfortunately, over the last six games, the Tornados have thrice gone scoreless against some of the toughest teams in the league, including state-champs Gig Harbor.
Dorhauer said it’s become detrimental to the team when they get behind. Dorhauer said the girls start stretching chances to try bring the game to an equalizer. And that sometimes has drawbacks, like leaving the midfield out of place and leaving the Tornados’ defensive ends open to attack.
Still, Dorhauer believes there’s so much more to this team.
“That’s the one thing our teams have always done. They’ve always played hard up until the end, regardless of the record,” he said.
More notable is the fact that the Tornados haven’t suffered a single injury.
“I think it’s because we have a deep squad this year and everyone is willing to play,” he said.
Since the first game this season, the Tornados have scored 18 goals. Ten of those have been scored in league play.
To date, Lott leads the Tornados in goals with four total. Hall and Rabalais are tied in a close second with three each.
Hall leads the team with five total assists.
Results from Tuesday’s game against Shelton at home were not available by press deadline.