In the crisp autumn air under the stars at Doc Harris Stadium, the Papermaker girls soccer players put the finishing touches on a second straight league title.
Sophomores Mackenzie Amos and Rachel Gibson polished off a couple of corner kicks from senior Olivia Lovell for Camas goals. The Papermakers held on to beat Kelso 2-1 Oct. 25, to clinch the league championship.
“It’s exciting to help the seniors win on Senior Night,” Amos said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Lovell doesn’t mind assisting her teammates, just as long as Camas scores the goals.
“A goal is a goal. Anyway it gets in is nice,” she said. “It felt like our backs were against the wall as soon as last year ended. Nobody expected us to win league after we lost all those seniors, but we knew we could get it done if we were all willing to put in the hard work to get there. It quickly became apparent to all of us that we wanted to become league champions again.”
Leading the emotional charge is senior co-captian Lauren Oljar. She has come back from a torn ACL injury that kept her out of action for her junior year.
“It feels great to be able to come back after losing a season and end off on a good note,” Oljar said. “We’re all going after the same goal.”
Head coach Roland Minder is thrilled to see Oljar delivering for Camas again as a midfielder and a leader.
“In spite of being limited in her lateral movement, Lauren is an awfully hard worker and she has such a great attitude,” Minder said. “She is definitely contributing a big part to our season.”
Minder is also grateful for the underclassmen who have filled the voids caused by injuries to offensive players Janae Benson and Carly Marshall, and goalkeeper Andrea Soderberg.
“It’s asking a lot for these young kids to step into those roles, but we had no choice,” Minder said. “They’re just a hardworking bunch, who believe in themselves and each other.”
The Papermakers host a bi-district playoff game Saturday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. A win sends Camas (12-3-1) to the state tournament.
“We want to win really bad and prove to everyone we worked really hard for this,” Gibson said.
“The wins will come if we work hard and continue to prove ourselves,” Lovell added.