TENINO — The Beavers brought a blue collar mentality to the blacktop pitch here on Thursday night as they defeated Castle Rock 4-0 in the District IV 1A girls soccer semifinals.
The win puts Tenino into the state playoffs and sets up a date with Montesano on Saturday to determine the district champion. But even with those considerable feathers already tucked into their proverbial cap, the 1A Evergreen League champion Beavers made sure to keep an even keel perspective.
“We know that there are still some goals in front of us. I thought that our team showed that tonight. It wasn’t a huge eruption from the sideline when we won,” Tenino coach Kevin Schultz said. “We knew what we accomplished tonight but we know that we have more to get to.”
Molly Craig kicked off the scoring on the night when she punched in a point-blank goal in the ninth minute thanks to an assist from Brieanna Dell. Then, in the 20th minute, Dell got in on the scoring herself when she laced a smoldering cannon ball past the goalkeeper off an assist from Iris Campesino.
The Beavers took a 2-0 lead into the intermission and prevented Castle Rock from ever putting together anything that resembled a promising run on offense.
“Our defense did really well tonight. We kind of knew that they would sit a little bit deeper and they would look to counter attack. They had a couple of quick forwards and so we did a really good job of reading those lanes and cutting off the passes to those forwards,” said Schultz. “And also, possessing the ball helps you not have to defend as much and that’s kind of been our calling card this year.”
Eight minutes out of the intermission Dell got loose with a double-deke move before sending the ball screaming past the Castle Rock keeper once again. Two minutes later Morgan Miner drew a tackling penalty on the Rockets defense deep inside the keeper box that set up a penalty kick score by Megan Letts to cap the scoring.
Schultz said he was happy with the way his team focused on patient passing to generate quality offensive opportunities against a stout opponent.
“We worked on that yesterday on switching the field, getting side to side, and really making them move. We knew that they would play really defensive. They’ve only allowed 11 goals all year and they’ve only given up two goals in a game a couple of times,” said Schultz. “I thought our midfield did a good job of picking their heads up and finding shots. Grace (Vestal), and Megan, and Iris, they all found some good shots out of midfield that didn’t necessarily go in but they kept working it until they got to those positions.”
Tenino will host Montesano at 2 p.m. on Saturday for the District championship contest. This year the Beavers have already managed to beat the Bulldogs 1-0 and 3-0 in order to steal away the 1A Evergreen League championship.
Schultz says the key now is to make sure his team can pull off that feat a third time.
“On Saturday we’re definitely going to bring it. We don’t want them to celebrate on our field,” noted Schultz. “Hosting here with a chance to get a district title. This school has never won a district title as far as I can tell. We know we have a lot to play for. This group is hungry.”