Dominic Fewel and Brennan Smith brought the Camas boys soccer team back from the brink on a rainy and foggy night at Doc Harris Stadium Monday.
Down 1-0 and still in a daze after giving up a goal to Ridgefield in the 23rd minute, Fewel tied the score on a penalty shot after the Spudders were punished for a hand ball.
“It was the perfect time right before half,” Fewel said. “If I put it in, the momentum is going our way.”
In the 62nd minute, Smith blistered the ball into the net off a cross from Erik Brainard to propel the Papermakers to a 2-1 victory on the flooded turf.
“It was the perfect ball, right there in front of the defender. I just poked it in,” Smith said. “It was an awesome way to take the lead.”
Camas needed a boost after Fewel had to come out because of an ankle injury. Head coach Roland Minder cannot recall a season starting with so many injuries. Just two games in, and the Papermakers are already down six players.
“Almost everybody is playing out of position. We’re just trying to survive at this point,” Minder said. “We can’t develop as a team. All we are doing is plugging holes from game to game.”
This game turned into a battle for survival in the final minutes. Ridgefield made a few good runs, including a breakaway in stoppage time. Josh Schneider dove out and deflected the shot for Camas. The Spudders got one more chance on a corner kick, but the Papermakers kept the ball rolling in the opposite direction as the final whistle sounded.
Camas started the season March 11, 200 miles east in Kennewick. Luke Schoene and Jake Fuller netted goals to help the Papermakers beat Kamiakin 2-0. Spencer Vela made four saves and JD Ellis stopped three shots.
Camas (2-0) hosts Tumwater Friday, at 7 p.m., plays in Kentwood Saturday, at 3 p.m., and welcomes Prairie to Doc Harris Stadium Wednesday, at 7 p.m.
Fewel is one of several Papermakers hoping to get back into action soon.
“We’re looking long term,” he said. “Get everybody healthy, get to state and make a run there.”
“Once we get all our players back,” Smith added, “I think this is going to be a much different team.”