Jenna Efraimson had the hot foot early on for the Camas High School girls soccer team, and then Maddie Kemp kicked in three points for the Papermakers in the second half.
This helped the defending Class 4A state champions pick up right where they left off, with a 7-1 victory at Ridgefield Saturday.
“Losing 10 seniors, we were thinking it was going to be a little rough to get back, but we worked together and got a lot of goals in, which was a relief,” Efraimson said.
“It was super exciting to see new faces score goals,” Kemp said.
Camas got a break from the get-go, when Ridgefield accidently knocked the ball into the net while trying to defend their own goal. Five minutes in, Efraimson curved the ball around a defender and scored a goal. Eight minutes in, Jazzy Paulson delivered a cross to Efraimson and she fired in her second goal of the game to give the Papermakers a 3-0 lead.
“Jenna and I have this connection,” Paulson said. “Even if I don’t know if she’s there, she will be there. I can always count on her to get to the ball.”
“I knew she was going to find me. ‘This is coming to me. I’m going to be ready,'” Efraimson said. “I just sprinted to it because I saw it coming and it just went in. It was great.”
Camas continued to attack the net. The Ridgefield goalkeeper swatted away two shots by Kemp. She set a school record with 31 goals last season.
Ridgefield got one back on Camas with a free kick goal in the 23rd minute. A long strike by Justine Pauly landed in the back of the net to give Camas a 4-1 advantage, just before halftime.
“It felt like we have been playing together for more than a game,” said team captain Perri Belzer. “Even at halftime, some of the girls I could see already had so much more confidence. ‘Hey, I can play at this level.’ It was really cool to see that. I think that is going to continue on through the season.”
After she was denied by the post at least five times, Kemp found her stroke in the second half. She chipped in a pass from Carla Jooste, and then came right back with another goal on an assist by Paulson. Kemp spun in one more goal a on thread by Avery Smith.
“Literally never hit the post so many times in my life,” Kemp said. “Started to get frustrated when I hit it so many times, but I just kept taking shots and they started going in.”
Tuesday’s home match between Camas and Jesuit, Oregon, was postponed due to poor air quality from the fires in the Gorge. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23.
The Papermakers head to Lake Oswego, Oregon, for a game today, at 7:30 p.m. Camas has to wait until Thursday, Sept. 19, for its first home game, at 6 p.m., against Tumwater.
“I’m really excited to see our student section and all our fans be like, ‘Wow! They won state last year,'” Belzer said. “It’s going to be awesome to see everybody out there.”