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East County Sports in focus — golf, soccer

TUMWATER — Four Grays Harbor golfers — three of them from Elma High — will have a long winter to wait for their shot to play in a state golf tournament.

Following the second and final round of the District IV 1A boys golf tournament at Tumwater Valley Golf Course on Oct. 15, Hoquiam’s John Sand finished second overall to lead his teammates to a tie for second-place finish in the team standings.

Elma had three golfers qualify for next spring’s state 1A tournament, including one who beat two fellow Grays Harbor competitors in a two-hole playoff for the 15th and final individual spot.

Woodland easily won the boys team title, sending five individual golfers to state.

Elma’s Austin Neary and Mitch Helland finished tied for 10th place at 175 to qualify for state. Neary needed a sub-45 back nine to qualify after going 90 in the front nine. Teammate Bryson Burrows won the three-man playoff on the second hole against Montesano’s Kyler Landry and Hoquiam’s Josh Bishop.

Bishop needed a birdie in the final hole in regulation to get into the playoff. He got it when he hit a 160-yard approach shot to tap-in range, while negotiating trees and a water pump shed due to an errant drive.

All three golfers bogeyed the first hole, with Landry nearly chipping in for par from just off the green. Burrows sank a par putt on the second playoff hole to win the final individual state berth. Bishop earned the first alternate spot with a bogey, while Landry took the second alternate spot.

“We had a great season, one of the best for Elma boys golf in a long time,” Elma head coach Erik Lindley noted. “Austin bouncing back in the back nine was really big for him.”

The state 1A boys golf tournament site, plus the full list of state allocations, will not be determined until early in the spring sports season.

Girls soccer

ELMA — One toe poke in traffic was the difference between Elma and Rochester on Thursday night, Oct. 17, at Davis Field.

In a battle of the top-two Evergreen 1A girls soccer teams, the Warriors took advantage of a loose ball in the 55th minute and defensively kept the Eagles from responding for a scintillating 2-1 victory.

Anna Vasquez scored both of Rochester’s goals, including the toe-poke game-winning goal.

Brooke Goldsmith knocked home the lone marker for Elma, which marked breast cancer awareness month and honored its youth soccer teams before the match.

With the match tied 1-1 in the 55th minute, Rochester (11-2) was awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal on the far left side of the field. Elma (11-2) set up a five-woman wall to defend it.

The Warriors’ Cameron Althauser took the free kick and went low to the right of the wall, right into the heart of the Eagles’ penalty area. The ball got within five yards and several players tried to either kick the ball into the net or clear it before Vasquez poked it past goalkeeper Alyssa Sutherby for the marker.

Within the final 15 minutes, Elma had several corner kicks and chances to tie up the match. However, Rochester’s defense was packed in and blocked several kicks that were solid and on goal.

One final push came when Alicia Hook delivered a dangerous low cross. With the ball streaking past the face of the goal at near-point blank range, three Elma players missed.

Vasquez put Rochester on the scoreboard in the fifth minute of the match off a counter-attack wave. Her first shot on goal was saved by Sutherby, but the rebound got behind her and trickled across the goal line.

In the 15th minute, the Eagles got their equalizer. Midfielder Izzy Cristelli, who physically held off the Warriors to maintain and sustain possession in the midfield, popped a well-placed long ball over the Rochester defense.

In the junior varsity match, Rochester won, 2-0.

Eagles 4, Tigers 0

NAPAVINE — Alicia Hook and Hannah Heelan scored two goals apiece as Elma defeated with a victory over Napavine on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Hook, one of several talented Eagle freshmen, tapped in a cross from Brooke Goldsmith in the 15th minute for the lone first-half goal.

A Sydney Smythe corner kick in the 42nd minute came back to Heelan, who one-touched it in from eight yards out in the 42nd minute.

Hook scored unassisted in the 51st minute and Heelan found the net at the end of a combination play involving Goldsmith in the 62nd minute.

Elma also took the JV match, 4-1.

Volleyball

Elma falls to Grizzlies

ELMA — Undefeated Hoquiam stayed composed and focused to down Elma, 25-20, 25-20, 25-10, in Evergreen 1A League play on Oct. 17 at Elma.

“We played well,” said Elma coach Renee Volz. “It was more of a team effort. We had well-rounded serving, passing and blocking from everyone on the team.”

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