High School Soccer

Caldwell, Lee anchor Bombers district title

For all the legwork Bria Caldwell did Saturday at Bomber Field, the Richland senior probably deserved at least one goal and maybe two.

But the high-scoring forward wasn't complaining after her two assists helped lift the Bombers to a 3-1 win over Chiawana in the CBBN 4A district championship.

"I'm just glad we got the win," Caldwell said after notching assists No. 9 and 10 this season. "They had some breakaways, but we have some pretty good defenders."

Fellow Bombers senior Sam Lee also had a reason to smile, hefting not one but two pieces of hardware at midfield following the win. One was the district championship plaque, the other a trophy for Richland's second straight CBBN regular-season championship.

At 1 p.m. Saturday the Bombers, the top seed out of the CBBN, will play host to the winner of Tuesday's Greater Spokane League matchup between Mead and Lewis & Clark, which will decide the GSL No. 3 seed.

"It feels pretty good to be back on top. We've been building the last couple years," Lee said. "It reminds me of my freshman year (the Bombers' last trip to the 4A state tournament)."

Lee scored Richland's first two goals to tie Caldwell for the team lead with 16 goals. The first came in the 13th minute when Lee corraled the ball past midfield and exploited an opening in the Chiawana defense.

"I was dribbling up, and I was going to pass it to Bria, but I saw the goalkeeper (Kora Bales) cheating to one side," she said.

So she pulled the trigger from 35 yards out, beating Bales to the far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Lee gave plenty of credit to Caldwell for her second goal after Caldwell fought through a double team on the right wing and freed herself up for a cross near the end line. The pass came to Lee stationed right in front of the net, and she just redirected it past Bales for a 2-0 lead.

"Most of the time she comes down the side, she'll get the ball to the middle," Lee said. "So I just waited there."

But Chiawana bounced back with a goal off a set piece in the 34th minute. Erin Huisingh swung a corner kick to the near post, where Sarah Pierce collected it in front of the net and punched it home, cutting the lead to 2-1.

"That definitely changed things because we were back in it," Riverhawks coach Rich Zoller said. "I would have liked to create a little more momentum after the goal."

But the Bombers back four of Kenzie Lubeck, Sydni Jamerson, Chynna Dickey and Andes Archibald tightened up in the second half, keeping Chiawana at bay over the final 40 minutes.

"We knew coming in what this meant. It wasn't just for the win or pride, but also getting a home game next week. We were in a different spot last year, leaving our home field after this game. The girls responded well to this challenge."

Kirsten Calmus added an insurance goal in the 52nd minute off an assist from Caldwell.