ELMA — Producing shot after shot, chance after chance, Elma dominated this Evergreen 1A girls soccer match with Hoquiam on Tuesday night.
Despite the the proliferation of shots launched by the Eagles, the Grizzlies found a few scoring opportunities and converted them late for a 2-1 victory at Davis Field.
Hoquiam’s Ellie Quercia made a penalty kick with 37 seconds remaining for the winning goal. Sarah Chapin also scored for Hoquiam, while Elma’s Stacia Burbidge gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a first-half goal.
By all accounts, Elma (2-1) was the aggressor and the dominator in this contest. Outshooting Hoquiam (3-0), 28-9, the Eagles enjoyed long stretches of possession, chances and pressure inside the Grizzly penalty area. Forwards Brooke Goldsmith, Burbidge and Natalie Grant were the main threats all night for the hosts.
However, out of the 28 shots, only 13 of them were on goal. Hoquiam goalkeeper Jensina Alvarenga saved 11 of them, Burbidge scored for Elma in the 13th minute and one of Goldsmith’s shots hit the left post.
“To be completely honest, this was not our best game, by far,” HHS head coach Corri Schmid said. “We didn’t win any 50-50 balls, none of our own goal kicks, nothing. Elma dominated the entire match. We got a couple of lucky runs and that was it. Jensina saved us. Thanks goodness, we’re lucky to have her. Even though this wasn’t their best game, the girls fought hard for this one.”
“That’s a heartbreaker,” Elma head coach Chris Schumacher said. “All we can do is take it as a learning experience and move on. We can’t dwell on this game. I’m very happy with how we played tonight. Every game, we’ve improved. Our passing was good, we dominated in the midfield. We’ll put it together. I’m proud of the girls.”
Leading 1-0, Elma threatened to turn the match into a comfortable exercise in the second half. Grant and Burbidge each sent threatening crosses for each other in front of Alvarenga’s goal. Each time, the corresponding one-touch shots at the far post went just wide.
The Eagles could have had a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute when Grant’s 12-yard shot was saved by Alvarenga, but the rebound found Goldsmith. The junior laid the ball off to senior Emily Kershaw, who fired the ball home. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the officials called offside and waved off the goal.
In the 63rd minute, Hoquiam had a rare chance to break out of its defensive zone for a counter-attack. Midfielder Barbara Meamber controlled the ball at the midfield line and blasted a long ball to the right side of the Elma penalty area.
With space and Elma goalkeeper Alyssa Sutherby charging 10 yards from goal, Chapin fired a high shot that found the near-upper right corner for a 1-1 score.
Elma went right back to dominating play after the Chapin goal. Goldsmith orchestrated several runs at Alvarenga and the Hoquiam goal. One of her shots hit the left post on a rebounded save off Alvarenga and the junior goalkeeper smothered three other chances.
Hoquiam’s final chance came in the last minute of the match. A long ball was controlled just outside of the penalty area by Quercia and sent into the box for Meamber, who was fouled with 37 seconds left to give Hoquiam the penalty kick.
Quercia didn’t waste the chance, hitting a low rocket past Sutherby for the marker.
The first half was just as much Elma’s as the second half. This time, Burbidge found the net when she gathered in a rebounded shot off Alvarenga from Grant. The 10-yard shot found the open net for the 1-0 lead.
In the junior varsity match, Hoquiam won, 6-2.
On Thursday, Hoquiam travels to Napavine and Elma stays home to greet Ocosta.