Columbia High pumped in 14 goals and allowed just one during last week's home stand against Stevenson and Kalama, winning twice to snap a three-match losing streak in S.W. Washington League girls soccer.
The Bruins improved to 7-3 in Trico Division standings and 9-3 overall with 6-1 and 8-0 victories over Stevenson and Kalama, respectively.
"It was nice to be home, but now we've got to go away for two tough games (at Woodland and Castle Rock)," Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga said.
Columbia sits in third place the division, one full match back of Hockinson and two ahead of fourth-place Woodland and La Center, entering what Kasenga said "is the really important week for the post-season."
The top-three teams in the Trico Division will qualify for next month's District 4 playoffs.
"We've got some wiggle room in terms of the standings," Kasenga said, "but we can't afford not to play at our level and give away any easy ones."
The Bruins traveled to Woodland Tuesday for their rematch with the Beavers. They'll visit Castle Rock this Thursday.
At Columbia High 8, Kalama 0 --
Shannon McNallan scored on a penalty kick in the fifth minute last Thursday to send the Bruins on their way to the shutout victory.
All told, Columbia knocked in seven goals in the first half on a night when it launched 27 shots at Kalama's goal.
McNallan's PK, which came after a Kalama defender tripped CHS's Chelan Weiler from behind in the penalty box, opened the floodgates.
Whitney Reynier made it 2-0 in the eighth minute off a Weiler assist and, three minutes later, Kelley McNallan scored unassisted.
In the 16th minute, Shannon McNallan found the back of the net a second time for her team-leading 12th goal.
It would be another 11 minutes before the Bruins scored again.
Naomi Halpern put one in to give CHS a 5-0 lead. Alison Kreiter followed that up with her first goal of the season in the 30th minute.
Three minutes before halftime, Halpern netted her second goal of the match.
The Bruins' only goal of the second half came in the final minute of play, on a long shot by Mackenzie VanLaar.
"We've been working on balls from the outside, as a way of getting our offense recharged, so that was a good way to finish," Kasenga said.
Columbia also used the match to work on their passing and communication skills, and to rest players nursing injuries.
"Late in the first half and at the beginning of the second, I put on a possession game stipulation. I wanted to see 10 passes before someone took a shot," Kasenga noted. "Our major goal was to be sportsmanlike and not run up the score. But I also wanted to get the girls to talk to one another."
At Columbia High 6, Stevenson 1 --
The Bruins broke open the Oct. 11 Trico Division match in the second half with a flurry of goals that came in a five-minute span.
Columbia, which led, 1-0, at intermission, got goals from Chelan Weiler (51st minute), Naomi Halpern (52nd) and Whitney Reynier (56th) to take control of their rematch with the Bulldogs.
Shannon McNallan made it 5-0 in the 70th minute and held that lead until Stevenson broke up goalkeeper Kelsey Kidd's shutout in the 75th.
A goal by Michelle McMillen a minute later concluded the night's scoring.
Columbia, which scored its first goal in the 32nd minute (by Weiler), fired a season-high 33 shots and limited Stevenson to 16 attempts.
"It was a good, all-around game," Kasenga said. "We found our confidence once we relaxed. As we made our passes, things got easier and the goals came."