After just missing a postseason berth in the team’s final games of the season, the Yelm Tornados girls soccer team is back with a young, but hungry team.
The team played its first game of the season on Sept. 5 at home against non-conference Spanaway Lake, of the Pierce County League. Yelm found itself on the winning end of the contest, defeating the Sentinels 2-0.
“That was a big win,” head coach Jay Dorhauer said. “You have to build momentum. We don’t know exactly what we have because we have a lot of first timers on the roster. We only have a few seniors on the varsity, so new girls that’ve never been on the varsity level are stepping up. They’ve played well, and they’re learning.”
Following the team’s victory against Spanaway Lake, Yelm hosted South Sound Conference rivals Timberline in the Tornados’ first South Sound Conference game of the season. The two teams battled throughout the game, but the contest ended in a 1-1 tie.
Freshman goalkeeper Jada Katona made her presence felt throughout the game in the 6-yard box. Dorhauer credited the freshman for keeping the Tornados in the contest with her strong performance against the Blazers.
“Jada’s performance was huge,” Dorhauer said. “It gives everybody confidence. You know going in every night, because of her, we’ll be in a close game. It’s hard to put into words the confidence boost knowing you’ll be in every game.”
He added that Alexa Wasankari and Holly Dorhauer had strong games against the team’s conference rivals. Wasankari scored the team’s only goal of the contest.
Dorhauer said, as the team moves into South Sound Conference play, the Tornados’ top players will be playing a lot of minutes against SSC opponents.
“We need to take care of those games and get at least a point out of it like we did with Timberline. I know people don’t like ties, but sometimes we have to play for those,” Dorhauer said. “The teams down here, Timberline, North Thurston, River Ridge, Capital, those are games that are winnable for us. They won’t be easy, but we’ll be more attack minded in those games.”
He said that, against top teams like Gig Harbor, Peninsula and Central Kitsap, the Tornados won’t plan to attack too much in order to play good defense and escape with a win or a tie.
The Tornados faced the Peninsula Seahawks on Sept. 12 at Roy Anderson Field. Results were not available before press time.
Following the SSC matchup, Yelm is set to travel to Capital High School on Thursday, Sept. 14 for another SSC matchup. They’ll return home on Monday, Sept. 14 to host the Eatonville Cruisers.
“We have two league games this week, which are big, and we do have another non-league game on Monday. I’m not so worried about the outcome of Monday’s game, but I want to get girls in the game that haven’t played too much and allow them to prove themselves,” Dorhauer said. “It’s a fun team to coach. They’re young and a little inexperienced, but it’s been great watching them grow. They’ve been fun to coach.”