Eight Camas girls soccer players are about to embark on the summer of a lifetime before their senior year of high school begins.
The FC Salmon Creek Nemesis defeated the three-time state champion Westside Timbers 1-0 to clinch the U-17 Oregon State Cup May 7, at the Tualatin Hills Recreational Center.
“That was our goal all season, to win a state championship. And when we finally got there, it was like ‘wow, we did it,” said Ellie Echeverio. “It was practice after practice, each game reviewing what we did wrong and coming out here as a team. I think it was heart, mostly. We said, ‘we can do it. It’s a goal and we’re going to reach it.'”
Aimee Kurfurst scored the winning goal in the 84th minute on an assist by Ashley Carter. The Nemesis scored 10 goals in the tournament and surrendered only two.
Carter and Echeverio are two of the eight players who attend Camas High School. The others are Moria Espinosa-Chaney, Marley LeFore, Sabine Postma, Hannah Taie, Mikaela Winston and Morgan Winston.
“I think it’s given us a lot of confidence going into high school season. This is our last year and we want to go out with a good ending,” Echeverio said. “The number-one element is that we are a family. We realize that it’s not about the soccer players, but it’s about the people we become.”
The win sends Nemesis to the U.S. Youth Soccer regional championships June 20 to 25 in Boise, Idaho. These girls also won the Northwest Champions League in U.S. Club Soccer and have received an automatic bid into the National Premier League Finals July 14 to 18, in Aurora, Colorado.
“We want to go in strong and play as a team,” Taie said. “I think we do our best when we work the ball around and keep possession of it. That’s when we have so much movement and creativity.”
Postma said these Papermakers are developing a sixth sense on the soccer field. When one of her teammates makes a breakaway, she knows exactly where they want the ball.
“Being able to play year-round with these girls is pretty special,” Postma said. “As long as we play together as a team, the results are not the biggest thing. Of course, we would like to win. Wouldn’t that be the greatest thing, to go to nationals?”
Coach Dan Macaya cannot ask for much more than what these girls are giving on and off the field. It doesn’t matter to them if it’s hot, rainy or snowy. They respect this game and their opponents too much to take a day off.
“The dedication, the commitment, the time, the hard work — they’ve had to put it in and that’s going to carry them outside of soccer,” Macaya said. “It’s in their blood now. They are going to work hard at whatever they do and give their best effort.”
The ball is rolling toward an unfortable summer for these Camas girls soccer players. The time is now for them to finish their opportunities in front of the goal.
“Since we have this opportunity, give it everything you have because there’s no going back,” Taie said. “Once we’re done, we can’t wish we did more. Just play for each other and leave everything on the field.”