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A Familiar Finish

Columbia falls to RockON in winner-to-state shootout

For much of the first 67 minutes of last Wednesday's SW Washington District 4 girls soccer playoff in Camas, it was Columbia High's match to lose.

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead with 23:42 to go in the first half of play on a goal by sophomore midfielder Whitney Reynier.

Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Kidd preserved that one-goal advantage with a two terrific saves.

But as the second half wore down, so did the Bruins and in one brief instant they let their guard down.

With just under 14 minutes remaining in regulation, the RockOn girls from Mossyrock, Onalaska and Napavine finally mounted an attack that Columbia defenders couldn't turn away.

Out of a mass of attackers and defenders in front of the CHS goal, RockON's Leah Stratton brought the ball down and ripped a shot past a screened Kidd that tied the score at 1-1 at the 13:17 mark.

The score remained 1-1 through the end of regulation and after two 5-minute "sudden death" overtime periods, though the Bruins had two chances in the final 10 seconds of the second overtime to win the winner-to-state match.

On the first, Columbia fired a shot from 10 yards that RockON's goalkeeper deflected away from her goal. The second came on a follow-up to the first: a header that went over the crossbar instead of into the net.

That final miss meant the Bruins would have to go to a penalty-kick shootout with RockON for the second time this season--this time to decide which of them would move on to the state 1A tournament.

RockON shot first and scored, though Kidd got a glove on the attempt.

Junior Shannon McNallan quickly evened the score at 1-apiece with a hard shot into the right-hand corner.

In the second round, neither team gained an advantage as RockON missed wide right and CHS senior Chelan Weiler's shot struck the crossbar.

Momentum shifted in the third round, however, as RockON scored, then got a save on CHS freshman Dayan Garcia's try for the equalizer.

But Columbia got it back in round four with a keeper save by Kidd and a scoring shot by junior Naomi Halpern.

The season for both teams came down the fifth-round tiebreaker. RockON's kick ricocheted off Kidd's gloves and into the back of the goal while CHS junior Kaci Kreps' shot ended up in the clutches of RockON's goalkeeper.

For the Bruins (10-6 overall), it was their second 3-2 shootout loss of the 2006 post-season.

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