After being blanked in its season-opening loss to Tenino a week prior, the Montesano Bulldogs were looking to make a statement against league-rival Hoquiam on Tuesday.
When the dust settled a message was well-received — when clicking on all cylinders the Bulldogs are a formidable opponent.
Zoee Lisherness scored a hat trick, and the Bulldogs scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game en route to a dominant 6-0 victory over Hoquiam at Jack Rottle Field in Montesano.
“This is the team we have,” Montesano head coach Fidel Sanchez said of his team, which rebounded from a 2-0 loss at Tenino on Feb. 9 to open the season. “We went to Tenino and it wasn’t even close to how we wanted to play. It was a bad performance on our part. But we fixed a lot of those things and tonight (we did) a lot of the things we have been practicing on, which was moving the ball and not letting the other team a chance to get organized. … Credit to the girls. They found the seams, they found the gaps and they found the shots.”
Shots came aplenty for the Bulldogs (1-1 overall) on Tuesday. Monte outshot Hoquiam (1-1) 29-1 in the contest as the vast majority of the contest was played in the Grizzlies’ final third of the pitch.
Monte’s offensive siege began from the opening whistle. Lisherness scored on the very first shot of the game just 2:18 into the contest and that was followed by a Brooke Streeter goal less than two minutes later.
In the 10th minute, Montesano’s Jaiden Morrison scored on an assist from Streeter to put the Bulldogs up 3-0.
Mikalya Stanfield scored in the 20th minute to put Monte up 4-0 heading into halftime.
The trend continued after the break, as Lisherness scored goals in the 52nd and 59th minutes to complete her hat trick and put Monte up 6-0.
“For the past week, we worked really hard in practice, figured some stuff out and my team just really came together tonight,” Lisherness said of Monte’s dominant performance. “We worked well with each other and just made stuff happen. … We did good at slowing the game down with our passing. Our passing is really what made the game tonight.”
Defensively, Montesano keyed in on stopping Hoquiam’s prolific goal-scoring forward Sadie Carlyle, who had a hat trick of her own in the victory over Elma last week. Once they were able to keep Carlyle from receiving any clean touches, the Bulldogs could focus on executing their game plan.
“We prepared for a Hoquiam team that beat Elma, 4-1. So we prepared for them to score goals,” Sanchez said. “We modified our defense to take away what they do well, which was get the ball to Sadie (Carlyle). We focused on Sadie. Don’t let the ball get to Sadie. That was our plan and it was a good night for us. We did what we planned to do and took that away from them.
“All we needed to do tonight is show the quality of girls we have in this program. This performance tonight is going to build on the next one, and then the next one and when we get Tenino again, we’ll show them the team we really have.”
If Monte continues to improve upon Tuesday’s impressive performance, the ceiling could be very high for the Bulldogs.
“We have a good team and we don’t have a weak link,” Lisherness said. “We all work well together, work hard and I think that’s how we are going to go from here on out. We’re just going to keep rising.”
Tumwater 4, Aberdeen 1
Tied 1-1 at halftime, Tumwater scored three times in the second half to hand Aberdeen its second loss of the season on Tuesday in Tumwater.
The Bobcats (0-2) fell behind 1-0 nine minutes in and held the Thunderbirds to just one goal in the first half after Bobcat goalkeeper Char Gutierrez blocked a penalty kick in the 20th minute.
Aberdeen knotted up things at a goal apiece when Brooklyn Lecomte found center-midfielder Emma Green, who scored off a long shot that was mishandled by the Tumwater keeper.
But Tumwater outmatched the Bobcats in the second half, scoring three times to put the game away.
“The girls played hard and hustled, but we had a poor first touch and made too many defensive mistakes,” Aberdeen head coach Larry Fleming said.
Aberdeen hosts Centralia on Friday, followed by a Mrytle Street Rivalry contest against Hoquiam at 1 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Field in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen’s junior varsity team lost, 4-1, to the Tumwater JV on Tuesday.
Kallie Knutson scored the Bobcats’ only goal on a penalty kick.
Tenino 5, Elma 1
Elma managed to keep it close for awhile, but eventually fell to powerhouse Tenino on Tuesday in Tenino.
Down 2-0, the Eagles (0-2) got a goal from Harlee Nelson in the 44th minute of the game to pull within a goal.
But Tenino (2-0) was just too much, netting goals in the 49th, 51st and 77th minute to put the game away.
Tenino’s Brieanna Dell scored a hat trick to lead the Beavers.
Elma will take on the Tenino squad again at 7 p.m. today.