RICHLAND -- Shelby Covert is a big fan of the soccer field at Hanford High School.
And why not? The Falcons senior forward has done very well on her home pitch -- all four of her goals this year have come on the Falcons' lush green grass.
"Look at this place, it's beautiful," Covert said.
Thursday night, she took it upon herself to make sure it wasn't her last game there, scoring both Hanford goals in a 2-1 CBBN 3A sub-regional win over Eastmont.
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"This definitely means it's not my last game as a senior," said Covert, who hustled her way to get in position for two second-half rebound goals off Wildcats goalkeeper Nikki Seyster.
The No. 4 seed Falcons (11-6) will play No. 2 seed Kamiakin (12-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lampson Stadium in a loser-out matchup. Braves coach Chris Erikson, along with several Kamiakin players, were on hand to scout the game.
The Braves already knew Hanford could take some hits and come back fighting. The Falcons proved it with an extremely physical match that saw plenty of pushing and shoving, some hard contact and a few high elbows.
"We knew it would be a physical match," Falcons midfielder Cari Exarhos said. "(Hanford coach Mart Oostrum) always says, this is playoff soccer. It doesn't matter what happened in league. If you don't show up to play, you're done."
In the 18th minute, Covert was knocked to the ground by Eastmont defender Karlee Goehner at midfield. The two have some history, swapping trash talk and some rough play in Hanford's 5-1 home win Tuesday.
Covert left the match for the rest of the first half but let her play speak for itself over the final 40 minutes.
In the first minute of the second half, Covert made a run from the top of the box while Deanna Quadrel dribbled down the left wing. Quadrel lined a shot on goal, which Seyster stopped but couldn't contain. Covert was there at the right post to punch it in for a 1-0 lead.
"In the first half, we missed four easy opportunities," Oostrum said. "We knew against good teams you get limited opportunities, so we had to start putting them away."
Eastmont quickly answered, converting on a corner kick seven minutes later. Goehner struck a beautiful ball to the back post, where Lindsay Martin headed it past Falcons keeper Emily Busselman to tie it at 1.
But Covert wasn't finished. Midfielder Desi Laird set up the next goal, breaking through a double-team and dribbling toward the Eastmont box before being brought down by two defenders, drawing a direct free kick.
Exarhos took the kick from just outside the 18-yard box, lining a shot toward the lower right corner. Seyster got her hands on it, but the ball dribbled away from her and over to Covert, who tapped it into the net for a 2-1 lead.
"(Covert) kept them honest. She forced (Goehner) to mark her, which opened things up for other players. She's been fighting injuries all year, but she's starting to find her rhythm," Oostrum said.
Covert's effort led to another opportunity in the 71st minute, when she raced into the Wildcats' penalty box to chase down a loose ball. She slid into Seyster, who came off her line to challenge the play, and the ball popped into the air. Quadrel tried to recover the ball but then was fouled by Eastmont defender Erin Boatright, setting up another direct free kick from just outside the box.
"(Covert's) speed can be very valuable for us. She brings an extra dimension," Oostrum said. "Most forwards would have shied away from that 50/50 ball."
Wildcats coach Erin Kavanaugh was proud of her defense despite the season-ending loss. She had high expectations for her team, even after a decisive four-goal loss to the Falcons on Tuesday.
"We showed up to win. After Tuesday, I thought we had an advantage. It's hard to beat a team like that and not slack off a little the next time," Kavanaugh said. "We just didn't capitalize on some crucial moments."
Scoring--1, H, Shelby Covert, 41:00; 2, E, Lindsay Martin (Karlee Goehner), 48:00; 3, H, Covert, 52:00. Shots--E 16, H 16. Saves--E, Nikki Seyster 8. H, Emily Busselman 3.
WV 4, Pasco 0
YAKIMA -- The Rams did all their scoring in the first half, getting two goals from Sadee Kallis in a win over visiting Pasco (5-12) in a 3A elimination contest.
Scoring--1, WV, Lindsay Burns (Alison Alderman), 5:00; 2, WV, Sadee Kallis, 9:00; 3, WV, Samantha Filingeri-Olsen (Brittnee Rider), 31:00; 4, WV, Kallis (Jaden Gjestrum), 32:00. Saves--P, Yenixa Benitez 8. WV, Rozlyn Pratt 1, Stephanie Gibson 1.
SELAH -- Selah defeated visiting Othello 1-0 and Ephrata topped host Ellensburg 2-1 in the first round.
In the semifinals at noon Saturday, the Vikings will play No. 2 seed Prosser, while Ephrata will travel to No. 1 seed East Valley.