KENNEWICK — If you blinked, you probably missed West Valley’s two goals in the first six minutes.
A trip to the the concession stand might have cost you the chance to see Kamiakin tie it in a three-minute span just nine minutes later.
But let’s hope you were in your seat when Megan Young scored the game winner in the 47th minute, giving the Braves a come-from-behind 3-2 win in a CBBN 3A matchup Tuesday night at Lampson Stadium.
It was Young’s first goal of the year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Ellie Heiden worked the ball up the left wing and slotted it toward the end line to forward Kyra Brannan, who then found Young near the top of the Rams’ 18-yard box.
Young fired a shot toward the far corner, beating West Valley goalkeeper Rozlyn Pratt for the go-ahead goal.
“I called for it, and (Kyra) crossed it. I was thinking far post,” said Young, a junior midfielder. “To tell you the truth, I really didn’t know if it was going in.”
But it did, and it allowed the Braves (9-3, 8-2 CBBN 3A) to remain alone in second place behind top-ranked Southridge (12-0, 10-0) while dropping West Valley (8-4, 6-4) into a tie for fifth, a game behind Hanford (9-3, 7-3).
Kamiakin got off to an auspicious start, when Rams forward Sadee Kallis took a chance on a low roller from about 30 yards in the third minute. Braves keeper Sydney Grant dived for the ball, which was headed just inside the left post, but it ricocheted off her arm and into the air before bouncing into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Not three minutes later, West Valley was pressuring Kamiakin’s zone again. A Braves defender tried to clear the ball out but instead drove it off the face of Rams midfielder Jaden Gjestrum. The ball blooped behind the defense and over Grant’s head for a 2-0 lead.
“They were lucky goals, but we’ll take them,” said West Valley coach John Schubert. “We knew Kamiakin would be back, though. We knew we were in for it.”
Kamiakin coach Chris Erikson has been in that position before, but it’s never an easy feeling.
“A kind of bleak thing goes through your mind when you’re down 2-0. The good news was there was a lot of time left,” she said. “I was just hoping we were going to respond.”
Down two goals in a key game, the Braves needed to settle themselves down and find a way back.
“It was a little scary, but everybody was really supportive and encouraging. When you’re down that much, you need to push,” said Heiden, who netted Kamiakin’s first goal in the 15th minute, settling a pass from Kristyn Bohlander and knocking it in.
“I was thinking cross, not goal,” she said of her team-high 12th goal.
Heiden, who was part of the Braves’ 3A state champion 4x200 relay team last season along with fellow forward Kyra Brannan, caused major problems for West Valley with her speed. Her runs into the left corner stretched out the Rams defense and kept them from making any meaningful counters.
“You can’t push people forward and ignore her and Kyra,” Erikson said.
Three minutes later, Bohlander set up for a free kick from just outside the Rams’ penalty box. She made a powerful strike from the left side, lining it off the crossbar and straight down.
At first, no goal was called and play continued, but the linesman saw the ball cross the goal line and alerted the center official.
That tied the score at 2.
After Young scored the go-ahead goal, West Valley made one final push with two minutes remaining. On a free kick from midfield by defender Allison Alderman, the Rams rushed the net and the ball dropped in front of the goal mouth. Three West Valley players were in the vicinity, but none were able to make a play as it trickled out of bounds.
“I love the way KP (Kierra Peoples) followed the ball right to the line,” Erikson said. “She’s such a smart player.”
Scoring—1, WV, Sadee Kallis, 3:00; 2, WV, Jaden Gjestrum, 6:00; 3, K, Ellie Heiden (Kristyn Bohlander), 15:00; 4, K, Bohlander, 18:00; 5, K, Megan Young (Kyra Brannan), 47:00. Shots—WV 8, K 13. Saves—WV, Stephanie Gibson 4, Rozlyn Pratt (40:00) 5. K, Sydney Grant 1.