TUKWILA — Two matches into their women’s soccer history, the Grays Harbor College Chokers have yet to taste defeat.
Scoring twice in the final 30 minutes, the Chokers tied Lower Columbia College, 3-3, as part of the season-opening NWAC Friendlies series Wednesday at the Starfire Sports Complex.
The Chokers celebrated their women’s soccer debut Tuesday with a 6-3 win over Portland Community College.
Wednesday’s tie might have been even more impressive than the victory, since it came when the Chokers were limited to 12 players due to injury.
Because of the shortage of bodies, GHC was given the option of playing another squad with fewer players.
“All the girls decided they wanted to stay with Lower Columbia and see what they were like, because we’ve got them in league,” Choker coach Chris Schumacher said.
Despite the lack of depth, the Chokers erased a 3-1 halftime deficit. Jill Hardy put in the rebound of a shot that hit the crossbar in the 60th minute. Then Ashley Alonzo tied it with an unassisted goal in the 73rd minute off a run up the lefty side.
Alonzo had opened the scoring in the 11th minute, but Lower Columbia responded with three goals in a 21-minute stretch later in the first half.
“I’m very proud of how hard the girls are working,” Schumacher said. “We’re short on numbers…and Lower Columbia had waves of subs they were sending in. Even though that was going on, we worked hard through it.”
Alonzo recorded a pair of milestones in Tuesday’s victory over Portland. The freshman scored GHC’s first goal in the 20th minute, then followed it with two more goals in the second half for the program’s first-ever hat trick.
“It was very nerve-racking building up to this point,” Schumacher said. “First of all, it was about 105 degrees on the field. We were done, not a lot of energy for celebration. Once we went out there, with the quality of girls we have, they started playing the game they love.
The Chokers, who fielded 13 players in that match, took a 3-1 halftime lead on the Panthers with goals from Alonzo, Kaitlyn Roebuck and Jill Hardy. Alonzo and Roebuck scored their goals within one minute of each other, while Hardy notched her marker just before halftime.
Alonzo completed her hat trick with goals in the 73rd and 81st minutes, with Elena Duenas gaining an assist on Alonzo’s second goal. Alyx Miller finished the scoring with a goal in the 82nd minute.
Jensina Alvarenga picked up the win in goal and finished with four saves. Freshman Kayla Hilliard injured her ankle, which sidelined her for the Lower Columbia match.
The Chokers visit Shoreline on Sept. 5 and Everett the following day before making their home debut Sept. 9 against Green River.