Columbia High meets La Center tonight in a SWW 1A League girls soccer playoff for the Trico Division's automatic berth in the 2008 state tournament.
The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in Kalama High School's Chinook Stadium.
La Center (6-1) pulled within half a match of division-leading Columbia (7-1) last week by beating the Bruins, 3-1, Oct. 21 in La Center, despite playing a man down for much of the contest, then shutting out Stevenson, 1-0, on Thursday.
The Wildcats still had one Trico match remaining--scheduled to be played on Tuesday against Kalama--but they were expected to win that one to set the stage for tonight's tiebreaker in Kalama.
Two years ago, the rivals shared the Trico title for the first time. But La Center won the tiebreaker played in Stevenson to earn the Trico's automatic state berth and a chance to play for the Southwest District championship and the district's No. 1 seed in the final field of 16.
Columbia won the first meeting of the 2008 season--a 2-0 victory in Bruin Stadium on Sept. 25. Last week's loss at La Center, though, put a dent in CHS's bid for its first outright Trico championship in girls soccer.
The Wildcats mounted a 2-0 halftime lead over the Bruins on assisted goals by Shay Cheeseman and Melanie Hodge. Cheeseman picked up her second assist in the second half on a goal by Rachel Hodge.
Columbia had its chances but couldn't capitalize on the 11-to-10-players advantage it enjoyed for some 70 minutes of action.
Two nights later, however, the Bruins regrouped at home to defeat the third-place Castle Rock Rockets, 2-0, for their school single-season record 11th victory and record seventh victory by shutout.