Final Four soccer
Friday’s game: Camas vs. Issaquah, 8 p.m.
Saturday’s games: Consolation final at noon or championship game at 4 p.m.
Location: Sparks Stadium, 601 Seventh Ave. S.W., in Puyallup
Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens. Two-day passes are $16 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens.
Persistence pays off for the Camas girls soccer team.
After failing to win a playoff game a season ago, the Papermakers defeated Mountain View, Union, Inglemoor, Lake Stevens and Skyline to be one of the final four teams playing for a state championship Friday and Saturday, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“Last year was the first time we never made it to state. That crushed us,” said senior forward Sarah Yang. “It’s been 10 years since the last team from Camas won a state title. That would be a great way for this team to be remembered. We all have that connection, and we play for each other.”
Camas beat Skyline 2-1 Saturday, in Sammamish. Yang scored both goals on assists by Sabine Postma and Rylee MacDonald.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it, and I was so happy to be able to do it,” Yang said. “Both of those goals came off very good balls by my teammates.”
Postma crossed the ball to Yang on the right. She beat the defender to the ball and slotted it past the keeper to put the Papermakers up 1-0 before halftime.
Yang made it 2-0 Camas 10 minutes into the second half. MacDonald drilled the ball through a seam in the backline and Yang chipped it past the keeper.
Camas goalkeeper Julia Coombs collected five saves. Her biggest effort came during stoppage time, when she dove to her left to intercept a header on goal.
“It’s something I train for in practice every day,” Coombs said. “I just had to get my hands on it, and collapse on the ball.”
Coombs also tipped away a Skyline shot that glanced off the crossbar in the first half.
“I haven’t been tested all season because my backline has been so great,” Coombs said. “It’s nice to be able to make those saves for my team and reward them for all of the hard work they have been doing all season.”
Maddie Kemp headed in a corner kick by Perri Belzer in the 57th minute and Hannah Taie netted a free kick from 25 yards away from the goal during the final minute of play to help the Papermakers sink the Lake Stevens Vikings 2-0 in the first round of state Nov. 10, at Doc Harris Stadium.
Kemp’s goal broke the ice for Camas after several of its shots sailed over the net, hit the post or the crossbar, or wound up in the hands of the opposing goalkeeper.
“It was just a great cross by Perri,” Kemp said. “I saw it coming in, and that the keeper wasn’t going to get there. I just backpedaled and made a good connection with it.”
This was the third playoff goal for the freshman. She scored twice for the Papermakers in the district title game against Union.
“It honestly makes me feel so special,” Kemp said. “I love celebrating with these girls. They’re my sisters. They’re my family. I love to make them proud.”
Taie attempted two free kicks at the goal in the first half. Both of them just cleared the crossbar by inches. The third time was a charm.
“I struck it as hard as I could and as low as I could,” Taie said. “I thought it was going to go over, but it just kept dipping.”
The keeper couldn’t get a hand on the ball as it swished into the upper right corner of the net.
“It was just such a relief that I could get it in there and help my team move on,” Taie said. “When it’s 1-0, you’re not safe. Just one mistake can change everything.”
Camas (19-1-1) clashes with Issaquah (14-2-2) in the semifinals Friday, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.
The state championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday. The consolation finals start at noon.
“Issaquah is a lot like Skyline. We will have to have another very strong performance,” said head coach Roland Minder. “It would be nice to get a state title on the 10-year anniversary of the first one. We’ll do our best.”