Emotional end for the Panthers

Washougal loses third district match on penalty kicks

Washougal and Black Hills turned corner kicks into goals in less than three minutes at Tumwater District Stadium Thursday.

It took 90 minutes of soccer and kicks from the line before the Wolves dispatched the Panthers 2-1 in the consolation semifinal round of the 2A district tournament.

“I’m really proud of how far we came this year,” said sophomore defender Katie Boon. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to have my back on this field. I can’t say we’re family because we’re closer than that.”

Boon nailed one of the biggest goals for Washougal Nov. 3, at Fishback Stadium. She delivered a free kick from the 40-yard line during the final minute of a scoreless match with R.A. Long. The ball gravitated toward the goal as it flew through the air and landed in the back of the net.

“I saw it go right past the keeper’s hands, and I’m like ‘did that just go in?'” Boon said.

Seconds later, the Panthers celebrated a playoff victory in front of their hometown fans.

“It’s three days later, and I’m still shocked,” Boon said.

A corner kick by Boon in the 58th minute led to a Washougal goal against Black Hills Thursday. Baylee Wright chipped the ball up and Chloe Brimhall headed it into the net.

“I’ve been waiting for that goal the whole season,” Brimhall said.

Black Hills tied the score on a corner kick in the 61st minute. The Wolves pocketed three PKs to win the match. Boon netted the only PK for Washougal.

“We can build off of this,” she said. “This feeling will make us condition harder for those extra 10 minutes at the end of the game when we need to push through.”

“Remember that feeling of getting this far and use that to get to state next year,” Brimhall added.

It was the final soccer game in a Panther uniform for seniors Katie Desimone, Katzxia Moua and Wright.

“These seniors taught everyone not to give up,” Boon said. “When you reach your physical and mental limits, you can still push 100 yards past that.”

Head coach Joey Fleming said each senior provided an important piece of the puzzle.

“Baylee brought energy, Kat was consistency and Katie provided toughness,” Fleming said. “Their leadership has been crucial to getting us this far.”

Although the season ended in heartbreaking fashion for Washougal, thrilling victories against Hockinson, Mark Morris and R.A. Long propelled the Panthers into the 11th match of the district tournament.

“Each one of those wins was an emotional lift,” Fleming said. “Our late season run was a reward for all the hard work these girls put in.”