On the day before she turned 17, Mika Norrish hit the soccer ball on the sweet spot and scored a goal.
The Camas High School junior said the passes from Rebecca Dallasta and Abby Engel on that sequence were the perfect gift. Norrish watched the ball leave her foot with authority. She looked up just in time to see it fly past the goalkeeper’ and land safely in the back of the net.
“Abby set me up with the perfect ball. It went right off the sweet spot of my foot,” Norrish said. “I got the opportunity and I cranked it in. I am so proud of myself.”
The goal in the first minute of Saturday’s game at Doc Harris Stadium stood the test of time. The Papermakers defeated Enumclaw 1-0 for their fourth straight victory to start off the 2012 season. Lauren Rood defended the goal with five saves.
“We’re on our way,” said head coach Roland Minder to the girls after the game. “We’re improving. Every day, we’re getting better.”
Norrish dedicated the goal to her father. Todd Norrish, a 47-year-old flight instructor for Aero Maintenance, and student pilot Jimmy Kravets, 17, of Vancouver, died in a small plane crash near Goble, Ore., on March 14.
“He never missed a game. He’s watching me right now,” Mika said. “When he saw me score that goal, I knew he would be very proud.”
Camas also clipped the wings of the Prairie Falcons 1-0 Thursday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Diane Dyra scored the goal and Rood collected two saves.
“These close games are showing that we have to work very hard for league. Union and Skyview are so tough,” Norrish said. “We have to be able to pull it together, work as a team, communicate and play our best.”
The Papermakers have a challenging week ahead. After hosting Columbia River Wednesday, they welcome Eisenhower to Doc Harris Stadium Saturday. Minder said the 4A school from Yakima is one of the biggest in the state.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “We keep creating chances, but we have to improve on our finishing. Putting more balls in the back of the net is going to be the goal.”