TONASKET – What a difference a few days makes.
The Tonasket girls soccer team, stung by Tuesday’s shootout loss to Omak, righted their ship in a hurry with a 2-1 victory over Cascade on Saturday, Sept. 22.
It’s believed to be the first time the Tigers have ever beaten the Kodiaks in girls soccer, and certainly the first time in at least a decade.
“The seniors especially wanted this pretty bad,” said Tonasket coach Darren Collins. “After that playoff loss to them last year, they felt like they could play with them.
“Our goal has been to try to get to the top where Cashmere and Cascade have been. It’s been a big mental thing, to not take the field against those teams already beaten. I hope we’ve rounded a corner and can improve from here.”
The Tigers drew first blood after Megan Beyers deposited a corner kick in front of the Cascade goal. After a mad scramble, Alicia Edwards knocked it in for the confidence-building goal 15 minutes into the contest.
Cascade’s possession-oriented game meant that the Tigers didn’t see the ball as much as they’d have liked to, but rather than get frustrated the back line denied the Kodiaks many quality shots, and those shots that did get off goalkeeper Baylie Tyus (13 saves) defended with her best game of the season.
“They were just great,” Collins said.
Cascade finally tied it midway through the second half. But it took just two minutes for the Tigers to bounce back as Kylie Dellinger took a pass on from Edwards a breakaway, split a pair of Cascade defenders and beat the charging Kodiak keeper with a shot from the top of the box.
From there Cascade’s offensive pressure only increased, but the Tigers were able to play keep-away with the ball as the final minutes ticked away just enough to hold on.
“We did a lot of running and passing drills this week,” Collins said. “We did a good job of trying to set things up and made some nice passes up top, especially the last one.
“Now we just need to keep on playing tough like we did today and last week against Quincy. So far we’ve liked the Saturday games, but we don’t have another one of these for awhile.”
The Tigers (3-2, 2-2 CTL, 7 points) moved into third place in the league behind Okanogan and Cashmere. Tonasket plays at Brewster on Tuesday, at Chelan on Thursday and hosts defending state runner-up Cashmere on Tuesday, Oct. 2.