Kicking off the playoffs right

Kemp and Paulson break records on the same play for the CHS girls soccer team

Four different Camas girls soccer players scored goals in the first 21 minutes of a must-win game to return to the state tournament. The Papermakers delivered five more goals in the second half to turn the Todd Beamer Titans away, 9-0, at Doc Harris Stadium Nov. 2.

Less than two minutes from the opening kickoff, Jenna Efraimson broke through with the first goal of the game for Camas.

“It felt like a huge relief because we were kind of nervous,” Efraimson said. “It’s our first playoff game and it could be our last game of the season, so we were all relieved when that one went in.”

Jazzy Paulson fired a corner kick that was deflected by the Titans’ goalkeeper, but CHS senior Kierstyn Heilbrun was in the perfect position to retrieve the ball and score her first varsity goal.

“I thought the goalkeeper had it at first, and then I saw it go in and I was so excited,” Heilbrun said. “That was a really cool moment. First varsity goal. Senior year. That was perfect.”

Paulson then threaded a nice pass from Maddie Kemp into the net. Paulson returned the favor a few minutes later, by assisting on Kemp’s goal in the 21st minute.

“Those three up front have good chemistry,” head coach Roland Minder said about Efraimson, Kemp and Paulson. “We had to replace nine starters at the beginning of the season, and they have stepped up and stepped right in.”

Efraimson fired a shot on goal at the start of the second half that the opposing keeper blocked, but Paulson followed the play, got the ball before the keeper and chipped it past her for a goal. Carla Jooste finished a header by Kemp off a corner kick from Paulson to make it 6-0 Camas.

Paulson and Kemp connected on two more goals to wind up in the record books together. Kemp scored her 82nd career goal on Paulson’s 16th assist this season. Those are both brand new records for the Papermaker girls soccer program, and they both came on the same play. Lisa Hogan earned 81 goals for the Papermakers between 2000 and 2003.

“I was so excited,” Paulson said. “I literally ran right to her and gave her the biggest hug.”

“I think I’m going to remember this more because we broke the records on the same play,” Kemp said. “I don’t even know how that happened.”

Kemp scored 16 goals as a freshmen, 31 as a sophomore and 37 so far this season. She said none of this would be possible without her teammates and coaches.

“I don’t try to focus on scoring goals, it kind of just happens. It’s kind of our job to finish,” Kemp said. “As a team, we just need to focus on coming together and doing whatever we can to get the wins. The goals will come if we continue to work hard and play for each other.”

Kemp added one more goal for good measure, Nov. 2. It was a beautiful, 25-yard laser beam that sailed past the keeper and scorched the net.

Camas defeated Rogers 3-0 Saturday, in Olympia, to gain home-field advantage at the start of the state tournament. Kemp scored the first goal on an assist by Paulson, and then Paulson netted the second goal on an assist from Jooste. Efraimson finished off the final goal on an assist by Kemp.

Camas hosted Bellarmine Prep in the first round of state Wednesday. The result was not available as of press deadline.

Although the Papermakers are off and rolling in the postseason, Minder said the opponents are only going to get tougher.

“Everything has to get better,” he said. “We have to get crisper. We have to get quicker. We just have to get better in all facets of the game as we go.”

Seniors Perri Belzer, Aliya Ponder, Heilbrun and goalkeeper Falissitie DePasquale have been a force on the backline. Minder believes Belzer’s leadership is the reason Camas hasn’t given up a goal since Oct. 3.

“Perri has impeccable character,” Minder said. “She is just an exemplary young lady. I’m just so pleased with the way she has led this team, as captain. She is absolutely one of the best captains I’ve ever had.”