The 2021 emergence of the Elma Eagles girls soccer team as one of the top teams in the district was propelled by a talented young squad that could flat-out score goals.
If the Eagles’ first game of this season is any indication, they have not slowed down.
Elma scored four goals late in the second half en route to a 5-0 win in its season-opener against Adna on Wednesday at Adna High School.
Elma — which finished just one game out of a state-tournament berth last season — got things started when Beta Valentine scored on an assist from Miley Seaberg from 6-yards out approximately 15 minutes into the contest.
But Elma showed some signs of rust early on and was unable to extend its lead, taking a 1-0 advantage into halftime.
The Eagles offense continued to have trouble finding the back of the net through much of the second half, but with 20 minutes left in the game the floodgates opened.
Seaberg sent a nifty cross to the far post that found the foot of Macy Adams in the 60th minute for a 2-0 lead.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Elma’s offense kicked it into overdrive.
Valerie Echeverria cut to the inside then fed a through pass to Valentine, who scored to make it 3-0 followed by a Valentine corner kick that Grace Spencer deflected in with her torso for a 4-0 lead.
Echeverria and Valentine hooked up again on a near-identical play to their first scoring connection, with Echeverria finding Valentine again with a through pass for her third goal of the game.
Elma head coach Evan Valentine said he was most pleased with his team’s defensive performance in the victory.
“I think they had jitters, which is understandable it being Game 1,” he said. “I’m putting a lot of emphasis on defense and we got a clean sheet, which was one of our main goals.”
Coach Valentine added that as the game wore on, conditioning played a factor.
“(Adna) was noticeably tired and that was when some holes and gaps opened up and we exploited that,” he said.
Elma keeper Emmie Spencer earned the shutout for the Eagles.
Elma 1 4 — 5
Adna 0 0 — 0
Evergreen Lutheran 2, Ocosta 1
Ocosta struggled to find its offense in the heat as the Wildcats suffered a 2-1 loss to Evergreen Lutheran on Wednesday in Puyallup.
The Eagles scored the only goal of the first half on a corner kick while Ocosta was held without a shot over the first 40 minutes of play as Evergreen Lutheran controlled possession.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead on a long shot in the 50th minute.
Sensing a change needed to be made to generate some offense, Ocosta head coach Mike King moved defender Kylee Denny to a midfield position.
The move immediately paid dividends when Denny sent a pass to forward Miki Ness, who scored to cut the Eagles’ lead to 2-1.
Denny continued to dominate in the midfield, leading to 10 Wildcats shots and creating scoring chances in the second half.
“She provided the spark that was missing,” King said of Denny.
Ocosta nearly tied the game when Scarlett Nelson’s shot off a rebound went just wide.
Wildcats keeper Mia Saunders kept Ocosta in the game with seven saves.
King cited the play of Denny and her defensive replacement, Kennedy Reynolds, as well as Taeler Jardine, who did not allow a shot from her side of the pitch.
Ocosta 0 1 — 1
Evergreen Lutheran 1 1 — 2
WOMEN’S COLLEGE SOCCER
South Puget Sound 3, Grays Harbor 0
Grays Harbor came up short in a 3-0 loss to South Puget Sound on Wednesday in Lacey.
The Chokers (0-5-0 overall, 0-3-0 NWAC West) allowed a goal in the 19th minute and appeared to be going into the half down just 1-0 until a goal from Samantha Calderon-Rodriguez in the 45th minute gave SPS a 2-0 lead.
South Puget Sound (2-6, 1-2) scored a goal in the 46th minute to round out the scoring.
GHC had a season-high 17 shots in the game, with eight shots being on goal.
Lindsi Campos and Emma Johnson led the Chokers with five and four shots apiece, respectively.
Chokers keeper Katie Allydice saved six of the nine shots on goal she faced in the contest.
GHC faces Pierce College at noon on Saturday in Puyallup.
Grays Harbor 0 0 — 0
S. Puget Sound 2 1 — 3
Black Hills 3, Montesano 0
Montesano lost to Black Hills in straight sets in a season-opening matchup on Wednesday in Tumwater.
“Black Hills put a very experienced team on the court tonight and they did a great job mixing their attacks and pounding the ball at our back row,” Montesano head coach Pat Pace said.
Monte lost by scores of 25-12, 25-7 and 25-16.
Addie Winter led Montesano with five kills from her spot at the net.
Pace praised Ashlyn Devereaux and Jillian Thomas for their back-line play and the leadership of Jordan Karr.
Raymond 3, Morton-White Pass 1
Raymond got big games from Karsyn Freeman and Kyndal Koski in a 3-1 season-opening victory over Morton-White Pass on Wednesday in Randle.
Raymond won 20-25, 25-20, 25-23 and 25-18.
Freeman led the Seagulls with 22 kills while Koski had a team high 18 digs and went perfect in service-receive.
New Raymond head coach Julie Jewell also noted 100% service from Alia Enlow and Baylee Price as well as freshman Megan Kongbouakhay recording 26 assists in the victory.
Raymond’s JV team won by scores of 25-15 and 25-22 on Wednesday.
The Seagulls face Rainier at 7 p.m. Thursday in Raymond.
Raymond 20 25 25 25 — 3
Morton-White Pass 25 20 23 18 — 1