The 4A race is on

Papermakers in close battle for top spot in Greater St. Helens League

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Camas sophomore Will Hansen high steps to keep control while dribbling the ball downfield against Union on April 17.

The Papermakers boys soccer team has been at the top of the 4A Greater St. Helens League standings for most of the season, but four other teams in the league are in a tight battle for that No. 1 spot.

“Right now there is so much parity in this league,” Camas head boys soccer coach Dan Macaya told the Post-Record after a 1-1 tie game against Union at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas on April 17. “Skyview beat us. We just tied with Union after beating them earlier in the season, so anybody can beat anybody right now.”

Camas sophomore forward Ethan Jud scored on a penalty kick to tie the game with Union. The tie gave the Camas boys soccer team a league record of 3-2-2.

The April 17 match should have been simple for the Papermakers. After all, Camas had rolled over Skyview on March 26, beating the Storm 5-0 at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver.

“This was a game we were supposed to win and we had our chances,” junior Dauda Woodruff, the Papermakers’ leading scorer this season, said of the April 17 game.

Dauda played for Camas as a freshman, but moved to Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California, to play soccer during his sophomore year. He returned to Washington — and to the Camas boys soccer team — in 2018, just in time to play during his junior year.

“I felt bad after leaving Camas because I love it here, and (I love) the coach and the community,” Dauda said. “I just felt like I needed to come back and play for Camas.”

Macaya said Dauda has come a long way and is still learning the game.

“He’s leading the team in scoring, but could have many more goals if he executed a bit differently,” Macaya said of Dauda. “I think understanding positioning and where to be at certain times will help him be even more effective for us.”

Camas just missed going to the 4A state tournament in 2018. It was the first time in 19 consecutive seasons the Papermakers haven’t made it to state in soccer, which means Camas has one top goal this season: getting back to state.

The Papermakers said they know getting there is never easy. According to Macaya, the boys have done a good job creating scoring opportunities this season, but haven’t been very good at finishing the job and scoring.

“It’s really the story of the season so far. We’ve had our chances, but need to do a better job of finishing,” Macaya said.