Overtime is a coin flip for the Panthers

Soccer team defeats Ridgefield, loses to R.A. Long in extras

The game of soccer can be rewarding one day and cruel the next.

Two days after defeating Ridgefield 3-2, on a 6-5 PK shootout, the Washougal High School girls soccer team lost 2-1 to R.A. Long in overtime Sept. 21, at Longview Memorial Stadium.

“It’s a coin flip,” said Washougal head coach Charlie Boyce, describing games that go into overtime.

“I’m not disappointed in their effort at all. I don’t feel like they broke us down,” he added. “We may have just lost focused for a second. And we learned a lesson because, if you lose focus for a second, it can cost you a goal.”

Kiara Kallie kicked in the first goal of the game for the Panthers in the 18th minute. Washougal goalkeeper Jessie Larson made a three clutch saves to keep the Panthers up by one at halftime.

R.A. Long delivered the tying goal three minutes into the second half. Washougal goalkeeper Erin Bentley made two big saves in the second half and one in the first overtime session. The Panthers couldn’t stop the next breakaway and the Lumberjills scored game-winning goal.

“I’m happy with how the girls handled this adversity,” Boyce said. “I told them, ‘We’ll find out more about ourselves when things go wrong than when they go right.’ I found out a lot about us after this game. I thought we showed good character. I thought they were good to each other.”

Washougal and Ridgefield played 90 minutes of soccer to a 2-2 tie Sept. 19, at Fishback Stadium. Katie Boon, Lauren Snedeker, Hannah Eakins, Sierra Coloma and Kayla Johnson netted consecutive goals for the Panthers in the shootout.

A diving save by Larson gave Washougal the edge, and then Sydney Mederos kicked in the game-winner.

“I knew this was for the game when I was running up, but when I took it, I kind of forgot because I was so focused,” Mederos said. “I took it and I was like, ‘OK. I scored it.’ I turned around and everyone was sprinting toward me, and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh my goodness!'”

After failing to save the first five shots by Ridgefield, Larson couldn’t rely on guessing anymore.

“The way I used to save them when I was younger was wait for them to kick the ball and I would just watch the ball and react,” she said. “I decided to go back to how I used to do it, and I made a save.”

Larson dove to the left and batted the ball away, but she had to stay focused, just in case Ridgefield got another shot. Mederos made sure that didn’t happen.

“It always feels good when you win a PK shootout because your whole team runs to you. I think that’s my favorite part,” Larson said. “It’s not really the save, it’s when the whole team runs to you and everybody is hugging you and everybody is happy and in a good mood. That’s my favorite part and the best part of the celebration.”