CV girls soccer brings back state title
By Mike Vlahovich
The past two years, Central Valley's girls soccer season had ended in disappointment. The dream of reaching the State 4A Final Four had narrowly eluded them.
Until this year, when the girls not only competed in the Class 4A finals in Puyallup, but brought home the state championship after a pair of shootout victories.
Making the quarterfinals the years before, coach Andres Monrroy said before heading to the Final Four, "was a big accomplishment. But the girls like to win, and ending with that loss was not satisfying."
On the way to the championship match against Issaquah, the Bears faced a familiar foe in Greater Spokane League Mead.
"I'm not surprised," Monrroy said. "The GSL is so competitive. Having both in the Final Four says for itself how tough the league is."
The Panthers handed CV its only loss in 19 matches this year, but the Bears got even with a shootout victory in the District 8 title match. In that match, national age group team member and freshman Kelsey Turnbow scored the deciding goal in the penalty kick tiebreaker after tying the score 1-1 in regulation.
The Bears topped Chiawana 3-1 in the subregional, Savannah Hoekstra scoring twice, and opened state play beating Tahoma 3-1, all goals coming in the second half. Turnbow had two and Hoekstra added insurance.
In the match to reach the state finals weekend, this time CV left no doubt. The 7-0 romp over Camas assured a trip no other Bears girls soccer team had taken. Turnbow, at her best when it counted, had a hat trick to pave the way. It was the Bears 15th win where the team allowed one goal or fewer.
In the Nov. 22 state semifinal, essentially a rubber match against Mead, the game was scoreless. In the shootout, the Bears made all five shots to Mead's three, with three-year starting goalkeeper Jessie Kunz-Pfeiffer coming up with a big save. Kunz-Pfeiffer continued that in the state championship game, stopping two penalty kicks en route to a 3-2 shootout victory.
The win earned CV's first-ever state championship in girls soccer and capped an impressive 18-1 season for the Bears. Hoekstra scored roughly half of CV's goals during the regular season. Turnbow nearly doubled her regular season totals during playoff contests.
But while offense is in the limelight, it was defense, anchored by Kunz-Pfeiffer, which improved as the year went on.
"They have improved amazingly in the last month or so," Monrroy said before leaving for the final four tournament. "They were giving up easy goals that they are now not allowing. Jesse has meant more than people know. She's team captain and an amazing leader."
Reaching the soccer milestone, he continued, was the result of hard work in the offseason.
"They wanted it really bad," he said.
Central Valley's second State 4A trip in three years had its moments and disappointments.
The Bears opened the tournament victorious against Mt. Vernon 25-10, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21. But they lost the next two to finish a win away from a top-six finish.
CV was beaten by fourth place Newport (Bellevue) in a heartbreaker, winning the first two games 25-17, 25-17 before dropping three straight sets. Sophomore middle hitter Keann White recorded 14 kills and three blocks.
Their second loss came against fifth place Kentwood, this one in four games. Kazlyn Roullier had 10 kills and the Rockwood sisters, Jade and Meghan, halved the assists with 13 each. Libero Natalie Ford, one of just two seniors on the team, had 30 digs in the two losses.
The experience gleaned from the players and first-year coach Amanda Bailey offers motivation to dive right in next year.
As the season transitions into winter sports, the Bears will remember their bittersweet football season.
CV finished 6-4, but missed a berth in the postseason on the last Greater Spokane League game of the 2013 season. Lack of depth and defense was a primary culprit, the team finishing seventh in yards allowed out of 10 teams.
Quarterback/basketball standout Adam Chamberlain finished second in the league in passing with 1,376 yards. Coupled with 637 on the ground, he was second in total offense with 2,015. He accounted for 18 touchdowns.
Spencer Miller, a junior, finished sixth in rushing with 852 yards and scored 10 TDs.
State Cross Country
Central Valley boys and girls each won trophies during their 4A races, the defending champion boys placing third and the girls taking fourth.
Corey Hunter led the pack with a 15:55.63 time, six seconds faster than he had run last year. Overall, CV's times were not as good as the year before, when they took home the title.
CV's girls had a better team score than the Bears' girls did during their third-place finisher in 2008. Six of seven of this year's runners finished under 20 minutes. All, except for top finisher Sara White, ran faster times than did their counterparts five years ago, and she was only eight seconds off CV's No. l finisher that year. White's a junior. Briegan Bester, Brielle Crump and Kayla Boyer are sophomores. Kieran Nelson, Sidney Hogberg and Olivia Baddeley are freshmen.
The future looks bright for coach Dennis McGuire's young team.