Columbia High avoided a third straight shootout Monday night when Naomi Halpern scored with a corner kick in the last seconds of double overtime at Stevenson.
The Bruins improved to 6-2 in Trico Division girls soccer standings with the 2-1 win (their seventh overall in 11 starts) and tied La Center for first place with two league matches to go on their schedule.
“There were only 13 seconds remaining on the clock when the ball had an inward swing and was mishandled by the keeper and hit the far post side netting,” Bruins Coach Amy Kasenga said. “It was nice not to have a third shootout in a row.”
Columbia had to work overtime and then some twice last week in matches at Rock ON (as the combined Mossyrock/Onalaska/Napavine team is known) and La Center that were decided by penalty kicks.
On Oct. 10, the Bruins and Rock ON battled to a 1-1 tie through 80 physical minutes of regulation. When two 5-minute overtime periods failed to produce a winner, the teams went to a shootout.
“The shootout was our first and it showed,” Kasenga said. “Johanna Zimbelman scored first but then the following four shooters went wide or hit the crossbar.”
Better accuracy enabled Rock ON to pull out the 2-1 non-league win and even the season series at a match apiece.
Columbia’s Trico match at La Center last Thursday ended in a 3-2 victory that avenged an earlier 5-1 defeat.
The Bruins led, 1-0, at halftime and 2-0 late in the second half before the Wildcats rallied for two late goals.
“They were pushing hard,” Kasenga said. “We managed some late attacks as well but couldn’t connect.”
The evenly played match remained deadlocked at 2-2 through overtime and after five rounds of penalty kicks.
“The shootout was the mirror opposite to Rock ON,” Kasenga said.
Zimbelman missed CHS’s first shot, but Halpern, Chani Weiler, Joanna Villa and Shannon McNallan made four in a row to keep the Bruins alive.
When it came La Center’s turn in the fifth round, CHS goalkeeper Kelsey Kidd “had a huge save” on the attempted game-winner, “so we went to the golden goal shooters,” said Kasenga.
In the sixth round, Dayan Garcia scored easily in the bottom right of the goal and Kidd closed the match out with another big save.
“It was a turnaround in our mental state and a bonus for Columbia,” Kasenga said of the win, adding, “We’re getting pretty good practice at this overtime thing, but hopefully no more.”