Tigers beat out Loggers on Kaut strike
NAPAVINE — Nobody managed much flow in a tight and fraught Central 2B League matchup at Tiger Field on Monday, but the Napavine girls soccer team got the one break it needed in the second half to beat Onalaska 1-0.
Hayden Kaut gave the Tigers (4-2-3, 2-0-1 C2BL) the only goal they’d need, lining up her sights from the right wing, about 25 yards from goal and lofting a shot over the reach of the goalkeeper into the back of the net.
“That’s what we’ve been working on in practice, that’s her shot,” Napavine coach Mike Dieckman said. “I think most of her goals this season, you could line them all up and they’re all the same. She’s got that shot down, she can just hammer them from out there.”
The win keeps the Tigers undefeated in league play, and hands the Loggers (4-4-0, 2-1-0 C2BL) their first Central 2B League defeat.
For 40 minutes, the defenses ruled the night on an evening that started out gray and drizzly and soon picked up a hard wind whipping straight from one endline to the other. Onalaska had a bit more of possession while Napavine had multiple set-piece chances on long throw-ins into the box by defender Maya Kunkel, but neither side could turn anything into a shot on target.
The closest thing to a goal came when one of Kunkel’s throws took a bounce in the box and flew straight into the Onalaska net, but without a touch on the way, simply went down as a goal kick.
Out of halftime, it took just three minutes for the Loggers to give the game a jolt, when Jaycee Talley lined up a shot from 20 yards out and fired a low liner that Napavine keeper Taylen Evander dove to her right to stop.
That shot seemed to wake both sides up, kicking off 15 minutes of end-to-end action that saw both offenses finally break through the back lines and test the keepers.
Onalaska’s best chance came in the 56th minute, when the Napavine defense couldn’t clear the ball of its own box for the better part of a minute, but the shot the Loggers finally got goalward had little pace on it, and was an easy save for Evander.
Sending the ball back down the other way down the right side, Clara and Hannah Fay played the ball between each other before getting it to Kaut, who hit the game-winner.
Evander finished with three saves on the night, while the Napavine back line nixed out just about all of Onalaska’s possessions before they could turn into real chances.
“We’re really good about not letting them turn, and then they would just (send it) across the field, and we made the adjustment at halftime to stay where we could pick that ball off,” Dieckman said. “That made a big difference.”
For Onalaska, Hailee Brown made three saves. On defense, Kiley Talley made six clearances, and Jaelyn Auman had four, leading a Logger back line that never really let the Tigers through, only giving up the goal on a long shot.
“We just need to settle down and make our passes,” Onalaska coach Christopher VanClifford said. “I think we gave up on that a bit today. It was a tough game, it was an even game, but you always need to settle down and pass.”
Onalaska is set to be right back at it Tuesday, hosting Toutle Lake in a league match rescheduled from last week, after the original game had to be postponed due to a power outage. Napavine will take on Ocosta on Wednesday.