Seventeen times opposing teams have dared to lace it up against the Kamiakin High School girls soccer team this season, and 17 times the Braves have come out on top.
On Thursday at Lampson Stadium, the Southridge Suns succumbed to Kamiakin for the third time this year, by a score of 5-0 in the MCC-GSL 3A title game.
“They’re playing so beautifully together,” Kamiakin coach Chris Erikson said of her team. “They all talk to each other, it’s not just a group, and a group, and a group. They’re just so together as a unit, it’s really cool.”
The victory secured Kamiakin (17-0) its first state berth since 2015, and sent Southridge to a winner-to-state, loser-out game against Mt. Spokane on Saturday. Erikson said she has never taken an undefeated team to state in her 31 years with the Braves.
Maddie Morgan and Britney Donais each had a goal and an assist to lead a balanced Kamiakin attack.
“We feel pretty good,” said Morgan, a junior forward. “It was 5-0, so hopefully we can just keep scoring goals like that and doing the best we can.
“We know it’s going to be higher competition after this, so we’re going to train hard for that and look to just keep doing what we’re doing.”
After Southridge had one of its best scoring chances of the game on its first touch, Kamiakin dominated play.
Morgan struck first for the Braves in the 8th minute, breaking away thanks to a brilliant through pass from Donais, then sliding the ball left of a diving Alyssa Masterson in goal. Aaliyah Valladares then doubled the lead in the 13th when she scorched a shot from 25 yards out that found the back of the net, and then in the 28th Mikayla Hunter coralled a cross from Morgan and chipped it over to Kaeri Ward, who scored to make it 3-0 at halftime.
Emma Johnson and Donais added second-half goals to solidify the blowout. Grace Wilbur played the entire game in goal and picked up the Braves’ 11th shutout of the season.
UPHOLDING THE TRADITION
Kamiakin — and possibly also Southridge — will get a shot at making it five straight years that a Kennewick school will play in the 3A state championship game.
The Suns have been in the Sparks Stadium showdown the past three years, and the Braves were there the season before that, in 2013. While the programs have helped to put Kennewick girls soccer on the map, the city’s schools have never won a state title.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Erikson said. “Good, strong soccer players in the Tri-Cities, for sure.”
Kamiakin: Hosts the winner of Saturday’s Lakes-Mountain View game, at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of state.
Southridge: Hosts GSL No. 1 Mt. Spokane at 3 p.m. Saturday in a winner-to-state, loser-out game. Southridge beat Mt. Spokane 2-1 in the winner’s bracket semifinal.
Scoring: K, Maddie Morgan G, A; Britney Donais G, A; Aaliyah Valladares G; Kaeri Ward G; Emma Johnson G; Mikayla Hunter A; Izzy Conover A. Shots: S 2, K 16.