Girls soccer: Kennewick ends 59-match losing streak

October 27, 2012 

When the referee blew his whistle twice to signal the end of the Kennewick girls soccer match Saturday, it ended more than four years of frustration.

The Lions players charged the center of the field, screaming, crying, hugging and jumping around.

And who could blame them?

The Lions didn’t just beat Sunnyside 2-1, they also ended a 59-match losing streak. It was the first time Kennewick won a girls soccer game since a 1-0 shootout victory against Davis on Oct. 12, 2008.

“It is so amazing,” Kennewick co-captain Megan Young said in a phone interview. “It was just awesome to have the girls go out and give it their all and finally have proof to show how hard we worked these past couple of years as a program.”

Kennedy Woodrich scored the game-tying goal in the 65th minute on an assist from Young. Woodrich then headed a free kick from Young toward the goal in the 70th minute that freshman Hannah Templeton tapped in for the winner.

“It was pure ecstasy,” said Kennewick senior Kennedy Woodrich. “It is so nice, especially at the end of the season. We earned this.”

It had been so long since the Lions won that no one on the team had experienced the joy of victory.

The Lions had gone 0-14 each of the last four seasons and lost the final three matches of the 2008 campaign before earning the victory Saturday at Sunnyside.

“They’ve been working so hard for years trying to get a win,” Kennewick coach Matt Kessie said. “It feels great. I’m mostly proud for the girls. Many of these girls have been in the program the last three or four years. They’ve been real dedicated. We find moral victories here and there, but to end the season with a win is more than they can ask for.”

Sunnyside scored first on a goal from Karina Perez in the 60th minute, and the Lions appeared headed down a familiar path.

In the 65th minute, though, Young lined up a corner kick, blasted it in and Woodrich headed it home near post.

“On the first goal, I remember setting the ball down,” Young said. “And I just prayed, and the only thing I wanted was for the ball to get in there and connect with one of my teammates and go in the goal.

“And it happened! It was overwhelming. It was amazing.”

With the score tied, the Lions didn’t let up, eventually earning a free kick in the 70th minute.

Young again hammered a beautiful ball toward Woodrich, who again headed it toward the net. Templeton made sure it went in, setting up a tense finish.

“On the free kick I set the ball down and looked at Kennedy,” Young said. “I saw she was in perfect position and I gave it my all to hit it right to her. She had a gorgeous header. It worked perfectly.”

From there the defense held, led by sweeper Jenna Ballandby and goalie Samantha Garcia.

Sunnyside had a few chances late, but the Lions fought them off, setting off the wild scene.

“The other captain, Stephanie Wilson, said it best,” Young said. “She said we’re just one big family, and we’re sisters and this is a family win.”

And what a win it was.

Scoring—1, Sunnyside, Karina Perez, 60:00; 2, Kennewick, Kennedy Woodrich (Megan Young), 65:00; 3, Kennewick, Hannah Templeton (Woodrich), 70:00. Shots—Kennewick 20, Sunnyside 15. Saves—Kennewick, Samantha Garcia, 9; Sunnyside, Macenzie Butler, 5

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