As one of the final four soccer teams still standing, 22 Papermakers are determined to bring a state championship home to Camas.
“I have never played with such amazing girls in my life,” said co-captain Sabine Postma, one of 10 seniors on the team.
Camas (19-0-1) faces Skyline (15-0-4) in the semifinals Friday, at 6 p.m., at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. West Valley, Yakima (17-2) and Hanford (16-3) play each other in the second semifinal match, at 8 p.m. The winners of each match advance to the championship game Saturday, at 4 p.m. The third- and fourth-place match takes place Saturday, at noon.
Camas defeated Woodinville 1-0 in the quarterfinals Nov. 12, at Doc Harris Stadium. Maddie Kemp scored the only goal in the ninth minute on an assist from Sarah Davidson.
Papermaker goalkeeper Julia Coombs made a big diving save in the opening minutes of the match. Her four saves preserved the lead with the help of defenders Davidson, Marley LeFore, Ashley Carter and Perri Belzer.
“The key is not to get angry at each other, even if someone might make a mistake,” Carter said. “Just keep pressing, apply pressure, and don’t let them turn and get a shot on goal.”
Camas beat Kamiak 4-0 in the first round of state Nov. 9, at Doc Harris Stadium. Less than two minutes from the start of the match, Kemp headed in a chip shot by Alyssa Tomasini.
“Something inside told me she was going to get that ball right back to me, so I got in there and she did,” Kemp said.
Postma struck the net in the 31st minute off a throw-in by Belzer.
“It was far. Perri has an amazing throw,” Postma said. “I was like, ‘you better put that in. You’re 6 feet away.'”
Coombs dove and deflected a shot on goal by Kamiak just before halftime. She also snagged a free kick straight at the net late in the match.
Five minutes into the second half, Kemp scored her second goal on an assist from Ellie Echeverio.
“Ellie had a great cross, and I’m glad I could get my head on it,” Kemp said.
After juggling the ball around two defenders, Kemp completed her second hat trick in a week. She has nine goals in the postseason.
“It feels good to know all of the time, effort and passion I put into soccer is paying off,” Kemp said. “It’s paying off for all of us.”
Camas has allowed only two goals all season long, while gaining 18 shut outs. The Papermakers have generated 83 goals off 64 assists. Kemp leads the way with a school record 30 goals and Tomasini has 21.
“It’s almost like it’s too good to be true,” Kemp said. “It feels good to have these girls by my side. I wouldn’t have the goals without them working to get me the ball. We wouldn’t even be here today if it wasn’t for them.”
“It’s a team sport,” Tomasini said. “We’re looking for the win.”
Carter, Echeverio, LeFore, Morgan Winston, and captains Postma and Hannah Taie, helped their club team win an Oregon State Cup last summer. They also competed in regional and national tournaments in preparation for this final season of high school soccer.
“All the time we have spent together on the field here and at club, it just connects you in ways that are hard to explain,” Carter said. “That helps with chemistry all over the field, and getting to that ball.”