After taking a 1-0 loss to Montesano in their final match of the year, Tenino soccer took second place in the 1A Evergreen league and moved on to districts last week.

Districts

The first match of districts was loser out against La Center. The Beavers were the higher seed, so they got one more final home match

“It was cool to get to have a playoff game at home,” said head coach Kevin Schultz, pointing out that most players do not get to experience a playoff game in their career, let alone get to play on their home turf. 

Tenino faced La Center earlier in the year in a non-league match and took home a 5-0 win. Since they had faced the Wildcats prior, they knew their style. They knew to expect La Center to attempt to put them offsides as much as possible. 

“The first time we played them it kind of caught us off guard,” Schultz said.

While it caught them off guard the first time, Tenino still struggled with being called offsides this time around, having the whistle blown on them eight times, according to Schultz. That did not stop the Beavers from dominating and moving on to the next round of playoffs. 

Brieanna Dell made a strong appearance, showing that the Beavers were ready to take no prisoners, scoring in the sixth minute, assisted by Courtney Dodge. The pair was back on La Center’s half in the 21st minute, where Dell scored, assisted by Dodge once again. 

Only a few minutes later, 30 minutes into the game, Rhian Mathis scored a goal of her own. Fifteen minutes later she found herself in the same position, being assisted by Dodge this time. Tenino went into the half up 4-0. 

The second half was just as eventful as the first. In the 56th minute senior Lara Kershaw scored a goal in her final game on her home turf. Less than five minutes later Tenino made another drive down the field and Dell found herself with a hat trick, this time assisted by Megan Letts. 

A mere three minutes after Dell scored her hat trick, sophomore Molly Craig showed her presence on the field, despite having played on JV for most of the year. 

“All the seniors on the sideline started going crazy,” Schultz said after Craig scored the goal. 

The last goal was in the final moments, scored by Morgan Miner, assisted by Grace Vestal. 

Schultz believed his team played very well both in this game, and in the season. The depth of the team was shown during this game when Craig came off the bench and scored a goal of her own.

“I feel like any of (their full roster) could have played in a varsity game,” Schultz said. “Not a lot of teams can go 11 and 11 in practice and have it be competitive.” 

Thanks to this win, they got to move on and face the number one seed in the south and a regular state contender, King’s Way Christian. According to Schultz, King’s Way Christian tied with Montesano earlier in the year, while Tenino lost to Montesano both times the two teams faced this season. 

“If we bring our A-game and compete, we can win,” Schultz said. 

The key will be to be physical and show their athleticism on the field. If the Beavers can play their game against King’s Way Christian, Schultz said they stand a chance to move on in to the championship game where they would play the winner of Elma vs. Montesano. If they lose they move on to play for third or fourth in the district and would play the loser of Elma vs. Montesano. 

Unfortunately Tenino took a 7-0 loss to King’s Way Christian and played in the match for third place last Saturday. They had already narrowly defeated Elma twice this season and were looking at the match for third as just another game against Elma.

“I think the score is a little misleading for how we played,” Schultz said. “We knew it was going to be tough.”

Tenino missed some opportunities and every time they lost possession, Kings Way Christian took advantage of the opportunity. The number one player for King’s Way Christian, MacKenzie Ellertson, was the best player they have played against all season and is D1 caliber as she has committed to playing for Washington State University when she graduates this year, according to Schultz. 

For the last few years, Tenino had trouble with Elma, but this year they turned things around with the help of Schultz, who took over as coach this year. While it was no easy feat, the Beavers brought home the third place title for districts after defeating Elma for the third time this season, 4-2. 

“I never felt super, super anxious,” Schultz said. 

In the first 20 minutes of the game, Tenino had scored all of their goals. Dell had a hat trick within the first 12 minutes and Dodge also had a goal of her own. The half ended 4-1 and the Beavers played defensively the rest of the game.

State Tournament 

Tuesday they played Klahowya in Silverdale. Going into the game, Tenino did not know much other than they had won their league this year and got to the quarterfinals last year, so they would not be a team to take lightly. Schultz also knew that Klahowya had a good goalie, an exchange student. 

Schultz pointed out that Tenino does not have the best record when it comes to making it to state, let alone getting passed playoffs. However, this year they have their eyes set on state. 

“We’ll just play our game,” Schultz said. “Once you get to this point it’s really up in the air.” 

The game plan was to keep possession as much as possible and take their scoring opportunities. 

Schultz pointed out that Tenino does not have the best record when it comes to making it to state, let alone getting passed playoffs. However, this year they have their eyes set on state. 

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