A goal by Dayan Garcia in the 23rd minute was all Columbia High needed to defeat Toledo/Winlock United Monday in a SW Washington District 4 Class 1A girls soccer playoff in Tumwater.
The win--CHS's 10th of the season--earned the Bruins a date with Onalaska\Napavine on Wednesday in Camas, in a winner-to-state contest.
It was to be the third meeting of the season between CHS and Onalaska\Napavine. The Bruins won the first time around, 5-2, while the combined team also known as Rock ON took the rematch, 2-1, in a shootout.
Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga said the matchup will pit CHS's ball-control style of play against Rock ON's long-ball approach.
"They've seen what we can do and we know what they like to do," she noted. "And this time we'll be playing on a neutral field, one we're familiar with, so I like our chances."
Columbia beat Toledo/Winlock--a team similar to Rock ON in terms of style of play--by controlling possessions and containing United's long-ball attack.
"We really dominated; we really played well," Kasenga said. "We rebounded from our loss to La Center on Saturday and did what we had to do to win and move on."
According to Kasenga, though CHS prevailed by the slimmest of margins, "it should've been 3-0, but we'll take 1-0."
Columbia's goal came off a header by Garcia, who was in perfect position to finish the play after Joanna Villa's shot struck the crossbar and bounded away from the goal mouth.
"It was a really pretty goal," Kasenga said, noting that it followed "a great attack up the left side by Anna Anderson, who played the ball off to Joanna for a great shot that hit the crossbar."
Later in the match, Columbia had one goal nullified by a handball infraction and another by an offsides call.
"It was an offsides call that wasn't offsides," Kasenga said. "We had two players on the wings who weren't involved in the play when Shannon (McNallan) dribbled through their defense, shot and scored with about 10 seconds left."
That was the last of "several strong attacks through the midfield" engineered by McNallan.
"We got great play from all of our midfielders," Kasenga said.
Defensive standouts for Columbia included Alison Kreiter, who was assigned the task of shadowing Toledo/Winlock's top playmaker, YaYaa Crocker, and goalkeeper Kelsey Kidd.
"Alison did a great job of denying her the ball and shutting her down," Kasenga said, "and Kelsey had a couple of crucial saves."
Should they win Wednesday, the Bruins would start their state tournament with a first-round match on the road.
In other action:
Columbia wrapped up the regular season--and a share of the Trico Division championship --last week with a pair of homefield victories.
The Bruins got a second-half goal from Garcia en route to blanking Castle Rock, 1-0, on Oct. 24.
Last Thursday, Johanna Zimbelman and Garcia netted first-half goals to spark CHS to a 2-1 win over Rochester.