The game plan for the Montesano boys soccer team entering the Wednesday, March 30, matchup against high-powered Elma was simple enough: Play defense and slow down a potent Eagles offense.
Mission accomplished, but not enough to pick up the win.
Tied at 1-1 late in the second half, Elma clutched up with two goals over the final 20 minutes to earn a 3-1 victory in a battle of 1A Evergreen League undefeated, first-place teams at Jack Rottle Field in Montesano.
It was Montesano (5-1 overall, 4-1 1A Evergreen) that drew first blood, shocking the Elma sidelines when forward Felix Romero corralled a long ball sent forward, wheeled and ripped a shot just over the outstretched arm of leaping Elma goalkeeper Andy Salvatierra for a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
But that was all the offense Montesano would muster as aside from three additional, harmless shots in the contest, the Bulldogs failed to threaten again largely due to an Elma defense that committed no further mistakes.
Elma, on the other hand, put on an offensive showcase.
Led by talented attackers Manny Hernandez, Valencia Mendoza and brothers Canon and Cason Seaberg, the Eagles (5-0-2, 5-0) controlled the field of play and peppered Montesano goalkeeper Jayden McElravy with 33 shots in the game.
After Cason Seaberg was fouled just inside the far edge of the box after getting around Montesano defender John Southard, the Eagles were awarded a penalty shot.
Older brother Canon Seaberg put the PK past McElravy to tie the game at 1-1 in the 10th minute.
But despite the relentless pressure applied by the Eagles, McElravy and Montesano’s defense held firm the remainder of the first half to keep the game at a 1-1 tie entering the break.
“We had a plan to be defensive because they have been steamrolling everybody. Their scores have been outrageous,” Montesano head coach Fidel Sanchez said. “We pride ourselves on organization and we stay organized, defensively, and that’s how we keep the goals at a minimum.”
With Elma ramping up the offensive pressure in the second half, McElravy and the Montesano defense continued to hold throughout the first 20 minutes of the second half.
But Elma remained poised, continuing to win balls at midfield and takes shots at the net until Montesano’s defense finally cracked.
In the 74th minute of the game, Hernandez was fouled a few yards outside the 18-yard box while making an electrifying run up the near side.
Canon Seaberg placed the subsequent free kick just in front of the Montesano goal, where McElravy and Cason Seaberg collided at the point of attack, with Cason and the ball both tumbling into the back of the net to give Elma a 2-1 lead.
The Eagles added an insurance goal in stoppage time when Mendoza made a run down the far side and sent an angled shot past McElravy and just inside the far post for a 3-1 lead.
The final whistle blew shortly after, giving Elma sole possession of first place in the 1A Evergreen League and an East County Rivalry victory.
Elma outshot Montesano 31-4, with 22 shots on goal and an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.
If not for McElravy’s 19 saves in the contest, the score could have been more one-sided, a point Elma head coach Carson Seaberg understood after the victory.
“We continued to stretch them both vertically and horizontally. We gave ourselves many opportunities and sometimes in soccer that’s just the way it goes,” he said. “We hit the post multiple times and stubbed it into the ground. (McElravy) made some excellent saves, his positioning was very good tonight.”
Coach Seaberg said the game was “a learning experience” and credited Montesano for getting the early goal, forcing his team to come from behind against a quality defensive effort.
“It’s always good to play Montesano. Credit to them, they got out and got it and we had to come from behind and overtake them to get the win,” he said. “Hoquiam caught us in the same way, so that’s something we are going to have to work on and shore up. … We’re pleased with the outcome and the effort all the way through.”
For a team that features several players with limited soccer experience, Sanchez was impressed his team’s defense held Elma to three goals after the Eagles came into Wednesday’s contest scoring 32 in their previous three games.
“We kept a very good, fast Elma team to 1-1 through 74 minutes,” Sanchez said, adding that he’s pleased of his team’s 4-1 start. “That’s pretty good considering we have a lot of kids that are coming out to play soccer for the first time.”
Elma 1 2 — 3
Montesano 1 0 — 1
First half — 1, Montesano, Romero, 6th minute. 2, Elma, Canon Seaberg, 10th minute.
Second half — 3, Elma, Cason Seaberg (Canon Seaberg), 74th minute. 4, Elma, Mendoza, 80th minute.
PREP GIRLS GOLF
Aberdeen 67, Rochester 24
Aberdeen defeated Rochester 67-24 on Tuesday at Riverside Golf Course in Chehalis.
Led by Britt Rajcich’s 23 points (Stableford Scoring System) and 18 from Kaitlyn McCracken, the Bobcats earned the victory under less than ideal course conditions.
“A win is a win and we will take it every time,” Aberdeen head coach Dan Sundstrom said. “But today, it was the course that beat both teams. The fairways were still very soft from the flooding and the rough was US Open long.”
Aberdeen (67) — Britt Rajcich 23 (Medalist), Saylor Heikkila 9, Kaitlyn McCracken 18, Alice Earley 12, Keara Burns 5, Sarah Harder 2.
Rochester (24) — Izzy Masias 13, Audrey Williams 5, Bailey McEllan 4, Halle Dahl 0, Evie Houghton 2, Cassey Arregaldo 0.
Aberdeen 90, Black Hills 51
Aberdeen opened the season with a 90-51 victory over Black Hills on Monday at Tumwater Valley Golf Course in Tumwater.
Britt Rajcich had a breakout match, scoring 32 points to earn her second Medalist honors of the week. The Bobcats sophomore birdied the long par-5 No. 5 hole and nearly birdied the par-3 eighth.
Saylor Heikkila added 18 points and Alice Early tallied 15 for Aberdeen.
“We were so excited to get out and play another team at another course. We sure had some first match jitters,” Bobcats head coach Dan Sundstrom said. “As a team, we were thrilled to score 90 points on our first outing.”
Aberdeen (90) — Britt Rajcich 32, Saylor Heikkila 18, Kaitlyn McCracken 13, Alice Earley 15, Anna Matisons 8, Keara Burns 12.
Black Hills (51) — Linili Davis 15, Kaylene Hall 19, Grace Hurley 10, Mayah Hamilton 7.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 27, Raymond 0
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley made quick work of Raymond in the first game of a doubleheader, winning 27-0 on Tuesday at 8th Street Park in Raymond.
PWV (4-2, 4-0 2B Pacific) scored 12 runs in each of the first two innings and totalled 17 hits in the game, led by Merissa Frasier (3-3, 2 2B, 4R, RBI), Lauren Matlock (2-4, 2B, 3B, 4R, 3RBI) and Ava Bush (HR, 3RBI).
Olivia Matlock got the win, allowing no runs or hits with six strikeouts and a walk in three innings pitched.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley (12)(12)3 — 27 16 0
Raymond 000 — 0 0 2
PWV — Frasier (3-3, 2 2B, 4R, RBI), L. Matlock (2-4, 2B, 3B, 4R, 3RBI), Bush (1-2, HR, 3RBI), Peterson (2-3, 3R, RBI), Shannon (2-3, 2B, 2RBI), Huber (2-4, 2B, 2R, 2RBI), Hodel (1-3, 2B, 3R), Engel (1-1, R). WP — O. Matlock (3 IP, 0R, 0H, 6K, BB).
Raymond — N/A.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 15, Raymond 0
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley scored 11 runs in the fourth inning to complete a doubleheader sweep over Raymond on Tuesday in Raymond.
PWV hammered 16 hits, including home runs from Merissa Frasier, Raegan Portmann, Ava Bush and Dani Shannon.
Olivia Matlock and Shannon combined to allow no hits and no runs while striking out five Seagulls batters.
PWV hosts Forks for a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Raymond (4-3, 3-3) hosts Wahkiakum at 4 p.m. on Monday.
Raymond 000 0 — 0 0 0
PWV 202 (11) — 15 16 1
Raymond — N/A
PWV — Frasier (2-4, HR, 3RBI), O. Matlock (3-3, 2 2B, 3R), Portmann (2-4, HR, 3RBI), Bush (1-2, HR, R, 2RBI), Huber (2-3, RBI), Shannon (2-3, HR, 2B, R, RBI), Peterson (2-2, 2B, 2R), Hodel (2-3, 2R), L. Matlock (1-3, 2R). WP — O. Matlock (IP, 0R, 0H, K).
Prep Boys Soccer
Eatonville 3, Hoquiam 2
Forks 8, Raymond-South Bend 0
Aberdeen 13, Centralia 3
Wishkah Valley 19, North Beach 4