OLYMPIA — The easiest way to establish yourself in a loser-out contest is to score early, score often and make your opponent chase the game for the rest of the night.
Capital did that. Aberdeen did not.
Scoring three goals in the first 11 minutes of the match, the Cougars never allowed the Bobcats a whisper of a chance to get back into this District IV 2A loser-out soccer match and walked off with a 4-0 victory at Ingersoll Stadium on Tuesday night.
Aberdeen finished off this district appearance with a 6-11 record, but some hope and ambition for the future.
“It is tough to be a No. 5 seed and being on the road for games, but this was a step higher,” AHS head coach Fidel Sanchez said. “When we took over the program last year, we struggled. Now, this year, our goal was to get into the district tournament and we made it. We played teams tough. Next year, the expectation is to be in the top three. That’s how we’re going to train and we’ll go from there.”
The Bobcats could have been the ones with the opening goal, the one that would have grabbed momentum and forced the host Cougars to think a little longer.
Freshman Jade Caskey got that chance when junior Emily Fisher sent a dangerous through ball past two Capital defenders and she ran onto it for a 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Andrea McIntyre. Caskey hit a hard shot for the near-low right corner and McIntyre got just enough of the ball to keep it out. After a collision, the ball went out for a corner kick.
The Cougars controlled the corner kick and ignited their counter-attack — forwards McKenzie Phillips and Logan Cox. Phillips got the ball and shot a low, angled ball toward AHS goalkeeper Alexxi Timmons. Unfortunately, a bad, slick hop off the wet turf hit Timmons and just found the far left post for the goal in the third minute.
In the ninth minute, Capital had a 3-on-2 with Aberdeen’s defense when Timmons came out to challenge midfielder Loren Switzer. Switzer popped the ball over the defense and Timmons into an empty net for a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Cox was preparing for a cross into the penalty area from the far left wing when she took the shot and hit the upper right-hand corner for a commanding 3-0 lead.
“I don’t think we ever got off the bus,” Sanchez said. “It was a really slow start and we couldn’t recover from that. They made sure that they’d put us away early and that was their goal. They did.”
Once the match settled down into a fight in the midfield, Timmons and McIntyre kept the scoreboard quiet for a 3-0 halftime lead.
Fisher, Caskey, Rachael Schermer and Paige Kuhn, each had hard shots at McIntyre in the second half. All were saved.
Phillips added her second marker of the night in the 55th minute when she took a through ball from Cox and slipped it past Timmons.
Coach Sanchez cited his seniors — Allie Oropeza, Kuhn, Mackenzie McDermott, Schermer and Mo Donovan — for their play overall this season and for their dedication to the program over the past four years.