Seventeen Camas High School girls were playing soccer for their captain on Senior Night.
Hannah Taie lost her mother, Shelly, to brain cancer before the 2015 season started. The Papermakers finished in third place at the state tournament that season with a school record 20 victories.
So far this season, Camas has 15 wins, one tie and a league championship. Beating rival Union 3-0 Oct. 20, was the perfect way to honor Shelly and the 10 seniors on the team.
“I wish she could have been here today. They do, too. They were all close to my mom,” Hannah Taie said. “Them playing their hearts out for her means a lot to me. It just shows what kind of team we have. We all play for each other.”
Sarah Davidson delivered the first goal in the fourth minute on a free kick from midfield. The ball bounced over the opposing goalkeeper and settled into the back of the net.
“I was just so happy, I started jumping,” Davidson said. “From the start, we just had this fire because we really wanted to win and do whatever we could to get that win. We put in the hard work at practice and the result came out.”
The Papermakers took a 2-0 advantage with about nine minutes in the first half after Alyssa Tomasini headed in a corner kick by Perri Belzer for her 19th goal of the season.
“It’s my team. We all work so hard for those goals,” Tomasini said. “It’s a team sport. We’re looking for the win.”
Midway through the second half, Maddie Kemp knocked in the final goal. Davidson threaded the ball through the midfield, Kemp got around the defender, retrieved the ball and kicked it into the net.
“Sarah played a great ball to me. She had a heck of a game,” Kemp said. “She scored the first goal and we are all like, ‘Finally!’ She deserved it.”
Kemp and the underclassmen are learning something new from the seniors every day.
“All 10 of them, they work really well together. There’s no one that tries to overpower everybody. They just have an equal balance,” Kemp said. “They don’t look down on us. They treat us as leaders, too. If somebody has something to say, they tell everybody to listen to them.”
Camas wrapped up the league title with a 6-0 victory against Battle Ground Saturday, and a 4-0 win over Skyview Tuesday.
These girls set records for earning 15 shutouts and giving up only one goal in 16 matches. They have 68 goals so far. In league, they outscored their opponents 43-0.
“This is a special group,” said head coach Roland Minder. “Many of them have played together for years, so this is kind of the culmination for them.”
The Papermakers are excited for the playoff games ahead. Taie hopes the girls can get back to the Final Four and play for that state championship.
“I feel like every time we get on the field, it just gets better,” she said. “You can tell we all want it out there.”