YAKIMA — La Salle’s speed negated Elma’s possession-style offense and put the visiting Eagles chasing the match during Tuesday’s state 1A girls soccer match at Marquette Stadium.
The Lightning scored early, beat the Eagles to the ball most of the time in the first half and kept the pressure on in the second half for a 5-2 win.
The loss ends Elma’s season at 13-6.
“They were a very good team; obviously, you don’t get this far without being one,” Elma head coach Scott Rockey said. “We were a little bit off of our game. We were slow to the ball. They won the majority of the 50-50 balls in the midfield in the first half. Their transition from defense to offense was faster as well and that little advantage gave them the edge.”
Alicia Hook tied the match in the 18th minute after La Salle took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. The hosts then scored twice in two minutes — the 26th and 27th minutes — to take a 3-1 halftime lead.
Brooke Sutherby made it 3-2 in the 43rd minute off an assists from Jilliam Bieker for Elma. However, La Salle struck quickly again with goals in the 46th and 48th minutes to seal the contest.
“The second half was a better half; we were transitioning better, moving better, passing better,” Rockey said, “but they were tough to pass around. When we had the ball, if we didn’t get it to our next player, they had two, sometimes, three players on us.”
Rockey cited Peyton Elliott for her work in the midfield and Sutherby for her work up front.
“This was a good learning experience for the girls,” Rockey said. “The La Salle coach told me there were eight seniors on the team. We have four. It is a young team. They will be wiser from this and move into next year ready to continue to improve and take over the Evergreen League. It takes experiences like this to figure things out.”