Columbia River holds off Mount Spokane in 3A title game | Girls soccer
Sophomore midfielder Emily Heaton scored the game-winner on an opportunistic blast in the 37th minute for the Chieftains.
Special to The Seattle Times
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PUYALLUP — It was the perfect storm for Columbia River.
Players sacrificed by changing out of their natural position for the cause.
Emily Heaton, one of those players willing to change spots, supplied the game-winning goal in the 37th minute as the fourth-ranked Chieftains turned back No. 2 Mount Spokane 2-1 on Saturday in the Class 3A state championship match at Sparks Stadium.
Heaton, a sophomore midfielder, rifled in an 18-yard blast off a defensive clearance two minutes after Alyssa Lloyd of Mount Spokane (20-1) tied the match at 1-1 in the 35th minute.
Heaton's goal came from being alert after teammate Maddie Reynolds' shot deflected off another player.
"I was just sitting at the top of the 18(-yard) line and it was just there," said Heaton, who moved from defender to midfielder this season. "I was so shocked. I was like, 'OK, I'm going to go for it.'
"I didn't even really realize I was taking the shot."
The Chieftains (19-0-2) secured the school's second state title in girls soccer. Their first came in 2009.
"They are such a tight unit, and they are so tightly connected to each other," said first-year Columbia River coach Filomon Afenegus. "I believe the team chemistry of this team is why we are where we are now."
Columbia River had the most chances early in the match and finally broke through in the 26th minute on sophomore Marion Lilly's sliding shot from 6 yards out. Lilly broke free up the left side of the field after a pass from Julia Drury and slid the ball past goalkeeper Shannon McReynolds just inside the right post.
"Timing was key for us," Afenegus said. "We have people step up at the right times, and it always seems to be somebody different, but somebody always shows up. Emily definitely came up very big at a crucial time."
Not only timing was key, but sacrifice for the good of the team was critical.
"Coming into the season, I knew we had a lot of talent," Afenegus added. "I asked a lot of girls to play in different positions they were not familiar with. They humbly accepted that challenge.
"Everybody played their job to a 'T' very selflessly."
Holy Names 1,
Senior Katie Chandler scored in the 57th minute to send a group of 10 seniors off as winners as the Cougars (16-6-2) secured third place.
Senior goalkeeper Kayla Baskett delivered her 11th shutout of the season for Holy Names, which fell to No. 2 Mount Spokane in Friday's semifinals. The Cougars chalked up their best finish since third place in 2007.
"Yesterday was for sure disappointing, because we were really excited to get this far," said Chandler, whose team recovered from a 2-3-0 start for a fast finish, going 9-1-1 in last 11 matches. "This is the furthest we've gone in some time, especially for the seniors who hadn't gotten past that first round of state."
Chandler slid a right-footed shot across the front of the goal and into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Camariah King provided the assist.
It was Chandler's 12th goal of the season.
Liberty (14-5-1) followed last year's 3A state runner-up finish with fourth place.