Camas girls soccer has ‘unfinished business’

Coaches discuss new season for C-W girls soccer, Camas cross country teams

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Camas senior Maya Parman (5) attempts to head a soccer ball past Ridgefield's goalie during a game on Sept. 9, 2021. (Contributed photo courtesy of Kris Cavin)

The Camas girls soccer team capped a successful 2019 campaign with a disappointing loss to Enumclaw in a 4A District 3/4 tournament game that it thought it should’ve won. The Papermakers went undefeated during the 2020 season, but couldn’t prove themselves against the best teams in Washington due to the absence of the 4A state tournament, cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given their recent experiences, it’s no wonder Camas’ veteran players feel like they have some “unfinished business” as they enter the 2021 season.

“They feel that they’re not only fighting for themselves and the future players that are watching us, but also our seniors that just left us who didn’t have that opportunity (to go deep into the state tournament),” Papermakers coach Keri Tomasetti said. “They feel like, ‘We’re not only doing this for our future, but also our past.'”

Camas won its first three games of the season against Hockinson, Ridgefield and Kentwood, scoring a combined 13 goals while allowing just one.

“We might have a couple of solid goal-scorers, but the goals are going to come from several places,” Tomasetti said. “We lost a couple of our senior defenders, so we had to re-arrange (the defense) a little bit, and we’re starting (the season) with a couple injuries, which tweaked it a little bit more, but fortunately we have some depth, which helps. The defense should be solid. And we have the same two goalkeepers coming back, so we have some veteran play (in the net).”

Offensively, the Papermakers will be led by their captain, senior midfielder Maya Parman. Defensively, they will be led by junior goalkeeper Keely Wieczorek.

“Maya is not only a solid leader, but she’s solid on the field,” Tomasetti said. “She led us in assists last season, and I foresee her doing similar things this season. Keely has good hands and good communication skills out of the box. Her leadership will be vital on that back line for sure.”

Washougal girls soccer

Kristin Maris is bringing a “fresh mindset” to the Washougal girls soccer team as its new head coach.

“We’ve carried some things over that Shane (Jundt) did with the girls, but also we brought in some new mentalities and a fresh start as well,” said Maris, served as an assistant for the Lake Washington High School girls team for five years before taking an assistant coaching job in Washougal in 2020. “I think it’s a good blend of the old and the new. The assistant coach with Shane is still here, and she’s been able to carry on some traditions, but I’m also bringing some of my coaching experience from the Seattle area down here.”

The Panthers won their first two games of the season, 7-2 vs. LaCenter and 2-1 over 4A Skyview.

“My goal this season is (for the team) to continually get better each game, and I think the girls have a great attitude and have that mindset,” Maris said. “At one of our first practices, when it ended, they said they wanted to stay after to continue to work because they hadn’t gotten a drill down. I was like, ‘That’s awesome.’ They just want to get better every day. I think as we go through each game and work to improve, we hope to be at the top of the league and contending and challenging those top teams — Hockinson, Ridgefield. We want to be up there with them.”

Maris believes her team will feature a balanced offensive attack led by senior forward Lauren Rabus and a strong defense.

“We’re returning our four starting defenders, which is awesome to have that continuity, having them know how to work together,” she said. “Our goalkeeper (Makenzi Gehrke) is also a returning starter and very solid. I think that’s going to be one of our strong points this season, having a solid back line that works well together.”

Camas cross country

Camas cross country coach Laurie Porter knows that her boys team, still technically the defending 4A state champions, will be rebuilding this season. The squad took a hit when Evan Jenkins, who finished sixth in the 2019 4A state meet as a sophomore, moved to Israel with his family earlier this year.

“That definitely hurts us,” said Porter, who noted that Jenkins has committed to continue his running career at the University of Washington. “I’m going to miss him. We’re not the team we were in 2019; that’s the best team we’ve ever had. We’re definitely building. We’re definitely not the caliber we were, but we’re building.”

Porter Craig, a senior, and juniors Hayden Reich and James Puffer hold the top three spots in the Papermakers’ lineup, which will also feature several relatively unproven runners that Porter believes have potential.

Cams returns more experience on the girls’ side, however, with senior Katelyn Flolo and juniors Natalie Peddie, Gracie Buzzell and Alyson Robertson holding down varsity spots. Flolo finished 27th and Buzzell finished 31st at the 4A state meet.

Porter is also excited about the potential of freshman Bethany McKinstry.

“On the girls’ side, we look really strong,” she said. “Natalie battled injuries last season, but if she comes back strong, I think both her and Gracie have got such great potential. And we’ll see how Bethany does, too — I think she’s going to really help the team. I’m excited. I can’t wait to start watching them race.”

Both Papermakers squads began their season Tuesday, Sept. 14, at Battle Ground.