The Papermakers are the queens of soccer in Camas. They have two victories against their city rivals to prove it.
“Being in the program for as many years as we have, it feels good to see all the hard work pay off,” said junior defender Sarah Tennyson. “We are finally the league and district champions.”
Tennyson headed in a perfectly placed corner kick by Maddy Belzer in the 30th minute of a 1-0 victory for the Papermakers against the Union Titans Saturday, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“Without the team effort, it doesn’t happen,” Belzer said. “Nothing matters unless we work as a team.”
Tennyson, Belzer, Mason Minder and Rachel Gibson prevented most of the balls from sneaking through the back line.
“They were really penetrating, but we just buckled down,” Belzer said.
“We really dug deep in those last 20 minutes and just got it done,” Tennyson said.
The ones that did were gobbled up by goalkeeper Marie Matthews. She made a fantastic save by diving across the box and swatting the ball away from the other side of the net.
“I was just happy that it stayed out of the goal,” Matthews said. “I just tried to stay focused and get whatever I could to the ball. It definitely makes you pay attention so that you’re ready for the next one that comes.”
Matthews thanked her teammates for keeping the ball away from the net for as long as possible.
“It was great that we could really come together as a team for two important games,” she said. “I just love how everybody is super friendly to each other, and how everybody is working hard and never quitting.”
The Papermakers understood the situation. If they could keep Union out of their net, they would win the game. But all it took was one goal for Titans to tie it up.
“Two shut outs in a row. Our defenders did such a great job,” said head coach Roland Minder. “They really came after us. They did not hold anything back.”
Saturday’s game mirrored Thursday’s masterpiece, when Riley Allison delivered a goal from about 20 yards away and the Papermakers held on to beat Union 1-0.
“I saw the net and just decided to shoot it,” Allison said. “I was kind of stunned when it went in. I didn’t know how to react.”
The Papermakers scored the first goal of the game both nights, something they were unable to do in a 4-0 loss to Union back on Oct. 15.
“We came out pretty pumped just to get them back,” Allison said. “This one had league title written all over it.”
Camas plays two games this week for seeding into the state tournament. The Papermakers battle Curtis Thursday, at McKenzie Stadium. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.
“After a tough couple of losses, we proved ourselves in the end,” Gibson said. “Some people got injured, but we stepped up and won league. It’s all about teamwork.”
Minder hopes the Papermakers will continue to be rewarded for their hard work in the weeks to come.
“The players have done everything they have been asked to do, plus more,” he said. “Winning the league title and then proving it with the district title speaks a lot to the character of this team.”