Summer Yates netted both of Chiawana High School’s goals in a 2-1 road MCC victory over Richland on Tuesday, but it was terrier-like work from the Riverhawks midfielders and defenders that allowed the team to hold on for the win.
The Riverhawks (5-4, 5-4 MCC) and Bombers (6-4, 5-4) were playing for possession of the No. 2 spot among the Mid-Columbia Conference’s Class 4A schools, since Chiawana beat Richland at home back on Sept. 8. Richland coach Justin Almquist said he got just the type of game he expected from Chiawana in a highly-competitive atmosphere.
“That’s what we see when we play a little higher level of team, it’s all about time on the ball,” said Almquist, who is in his first year coaching the Bombers. “If you’re used to having three touches, now you only have two. And definitely that makes all the difference.”
Fewer touches and less time on the ball disrupted the Bombers’ possession-based offensive scheme, a pleasing sign for the Riverhawks, who suffered a 7-0 loss to Southridge on Saturday.
“This is how we always want to play, aggressive defensively and really good team defensive soccer,” Chiawana coach Rich Zoller said. “It was good to see, especially after Saturday when we didn’t play any defense at all.”
Chiawana forced the issue in the third minute, and was rewarded with a penalty kick for its efforts. Senior defender Kailey Leavens lifted her kick high into the box, and the ball landed squarely on the forehead of Yates, who was cutting straight to the wide-open far post for the game’s opening score.
“It’s always a goal to score on a set play and then shut the other team out on set plays,” Zoller said. “It was a well-crafted goal, I thought. That’s what we want to do is take advantage of our opportunities.”
Junior midfielder Amber Gama keyed the Riverhawks’ second goal in the 20th minute by intercepting a slow-rolling Richland pass at midfield and lofting a through ball to Yates, who slipped her mark just outside of the penalty box. With only the keeper to beat, Yates took care of business with a tap-in for her second goal of the match.
“To create turnovers and get a counter attack, and to create a goal like that was just perfect for us,” Zoller said. “That’s what we needed after a poor game last weekend.”
Yates looked to be on her way to a hat trick, as she received a ball deep in Richland territory and again got by her mark in the 52nd. But she was dragged down from behind by sophomore Katarina Heck, who was given a yellow card on the play, and the ensuing free kick sailed over the goal.
Richland tallied its only score in the 74th after Chiawana goalkeeper Alicia Ramos failed to corral a rebound and the ensuing shot rang off the post. Bombers captain Katie Sinclair was able to control the loose ball and took advantage of the chaos by passing to junior forward Sophie Mendoza for an easy score.
“In a couple of earlier games, against Chiawana and Kamiakin, we went down early and we just kind of muddled along,” Almquist said. “This time around, we played our game at a little higher pace, a little higher speed, and it gave us a chance to tie it up, maybe even win it.”
Chiawana will play its next three matches against the MCC’s bottom teams in Walla Walla (2-7, 1-7 pending 10/4 vs. Kennewick), Kennewick (1-7, 0-7 pending 10/4 @ Walla Walla) and Pasco (5-6, 3-6) before squaring off against Hanford (7-3, 6-2 first in MCC 4A) on Oct. 18 in the Riverhawks second-to-last game of the season.
Richland has a long road ahead to reclaim its spot in the standings from Chiawana, with matches against Class 3A powerhouses Southridge (9-1, 7-1 1st in MCC) and Kamiakin (7-4, 6-3), as well as Hanford, remaining with five games left to go.
Scoring: C, Summer Yates 2G; Kailey Leavens A; Amber Yama A. R, Sophie Mendoza G; Katie Sinclair A. Saves: C, Alisha Ramos 4. R, Emily McDonald 3; Kiara Litka 1.
Other local games
HANFORD 1, KAMIAKIN 0: Taylor Matheny took a pass from Sadie Newsom and scored from well outside the penalty box to give the Falcons a huge home win over the Braves.
Hanford coach Kaylie Winston described the goal as “one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a while.”
The win was a big one for the Falcons as it put them 11/2 games ahead of Richland and Chiawana in the 4A ranks and moved them ahead of Kamiakin for second place overall in the MCC.
Scoring: H, Taylor Matheny G; Sadie Newsom A. Shots: K 18, H 8. Saves: K, Grace Wilbur 4; H, Kelsee Winston 11.
SOUTHRIDGE 4, PASCO 1: McKaley Goffard scored two goals, and the Suns rallied with four second-half goals to beat the Bulldogs in MCC action on the road.
Kendall Pope and Haley Thomas also scored for Southridge, which has won six games in a row.
The Suns sit atop the MCC standings, 1 1/2 games ahead of Hanford.
Scoring: 1, Pasco goal, 19:00. 2, S, Haley Thomas (PK), 54:00. 3, S, McKaley Goffard (Kambree Gadish), 66:00. 4, Kendall Pope (Savannah Brown), 70:00. 5, S, Goffard (Emily Russell), 76:00. Shots: S 31, P 5. Saves: Tiara Valadez 4. Pasco 13.
OTHELLO 3, GRANDVIEW 1: In just one half of action, Nikki Velazquez scored her 18th goal of the season and added an assist, and the Huskies (6-3-1, 3-1 CWAC) held on for a home win over the Greyhounds (5-4-1, 3-1).
Velazquez was ejected just after halftime when she was pushed to the ground and an official thought she swore. Othello coach Bernie Garza said it was a misunderstanding, and that she had said “Oh my gosh.”
Regardless, Jenny Alcaraz scored a goal off an assist by Elizabeth Madrid with just 10 players on the field to cement the win for Othello.
The victory created a log jam at the top of the CWAC, with Othello, Grandview, Selah, Prosser, Ephrata and Ellensburg tied at 3-1 at the end of business Tuesday.
Scoring: O, Nikki Velazquez G, A; Tori Cantu G; Jenny Alcaraz G; Elizabeth Madrid A. G, Alexandra Gonzalez Shots: O 13, G 14. Saves: O, Giselle Monri 12; G, Annabelle Pallarez 12.
KIONA-BENTON 2, CONNELL 1 (SO): Mickey Ramirez scored the go-ahead goal in the sudden-death portion of the shootout, and then followed with the game-winning save to lift the Bears (10-1, 7-0 SCAC East) over the Eagles (5-4-1, 4-3).
Freshman Ariel Lofton scored her 24th goal of the season just before halftime. Madi Wheeler, Cierra Vickerman and Jamie Sicilia chipped in goals in the shootout.
The Bears kept pace as the top team in the SCAC East, one game ahead of Warden, which beat College Place 5-0 on Tuesday.
Scoring: KB, Ariel Lofton G. C, Mattie Mauseth G.