ELMA — Breaking open a tight contest with three goals in the final nine minutes, league-leading Elma topped Hoquiam, 4-0, in an Evergreen 1A League soccer match Thursday night at Davis Field.
Elma’s Alicia Hook opened the scoring by hitting a 30-yard cross-field shot in the 11th minute.
Although on the defensive for much of the match, the Grizzlies prevented further scoring until the 71st minute. Then the Eagles erupted for three goals in a four-minute span.
Brooke Goldsmith took a through ball, maneuvered through the Hoquiam defense and connected from 16 yards out in the 71st minute.
Sydney Smythe’s goal one minute later made it 3-0. Then Dallas Trusty rebounded a Goldsmith shot that had been blocked by HHS goalkeeper Jensina Alvarenga and tapped it in from point-blank range in the 75th minute.
The Eagles (10-1) launched 27 shots — 20 of those on-target. Alvarenga was credited with 18 saves.
“It was one of those nights where they didn’t go in until the end,” Elma coach Chris Schumacher observed.
The Grizzlies (8-4) demonstrated significant improvement from a 7-1 loss to the Eagles last month.
“I think we let down in those four minutes and they took full advantage,” HHS coach Corri Schmid said. “Elma is an awesome team and you can’t let down against them. But, overall, I’m very pleased. The girls have really improved. It was an overall team effort and I’m very happy, except for those four minutes.”
She cited Alvarenga for a particularly fine performance.
Elma midfielder Izzy Cristelli and defender Morgan Jump drew Schumacher’s praise.
The Eagles took the JV match, 5-1.
Napavine will be the next opponent for both teams. The Eagles visit the Tigers on Tuesday while the Grizzlies host Napavine on Thursday.