Soccer is a labor of love for Fiona Samodurov.
Sitting on the sidelines since February because of a severe back injury was one of the toughest challenges the Camas High School senior had to endure. She returned to action just a few weeks ago, and on Oct. 27 scored her first goal of the season when the Papermakers needed it the most.
“This is one game I’ve been looking forward to so much,” Samodurov said. “It was Senior Night, and our last chance. We just had to leave it all out on the field.”
The goal came in the 31st minute of a scoreless battle between Camas and Union for the league championship. After cutting the ball off from the defenders in front of the 18-yard box, Samodurov fired a laser beam into the upper right corner of the net.
“I thought it was going over. I was so happy when it went in,” she said. “I just wanted to do it for my team. We’ve been working so hard. It was fun getting out in attack mode.”
Normally a midfielder, Samodurov got the opportunity to play as a wing in this game. Head coach Roland Minder wanted to give the team a different approach.
“She has a lot of offensive capabilities,” he said. “I wanted to see what she could do out there, and she showed what she could do. She was the hero of the match.”
Minder also praised the Papermaker backfield. Seniors Anyssa DeVera and Mason Minder intercepted the Titan attack. If the ball got by them, sophomore Perri Belzer, and juniors Hannah Taie and Alyssa Tomasini, had their backs. Camas goalkeeper Julia Coombs snagged two free kicks by Union.
“That was the toughest we’ve ever come out for a game,” Mason Minder said. “We weren’t going to walk off this field with anything less than a win. We were determined.”
After watching helplessly from the bench as Camas and Union fought to a 0-0 tie, Samodurov had the rematch marked on her calender. She was determined to be back by then, and ready to make an impact.
“I’ll remember the goal and playing with my team,” Samodurov said. “It’s our last year. I just want to enjoy everything and make it all count.”
It was a special night for seniors DeVera, Minder, Samodurov, Lindsey Latimer, Rylee MacDonald and Sarah Yang. Together, they hope to rewrite history after the Papermakers lost both their playoff games last season.
Camas defeated Mountain View 3-0 Monday, at McKenzie Stadium. Devera scored on a penalty kick, the Thunder knocked the ball into their own net on a cross by Latimer. Sarah Davidson netted the final goal on an assist by Taie.
Camas and Union play for the district championship tonight, at McKenzie Stadium. Kickoff is at 7.