Fay, Kaut lead Napavine past Toledo in first round of district tournament


NAPAVINE — High school soccer games are 80 minutes long, but it only takes a few of those to go right to get a result.

The Napavine girls soccer team did just that Monday, stumbling through much of the first half but finding enough magic moments to end its evening with a comfortable 4-1 win over Toledo in the first round of the 2B District 4 girls soccer tournament.

“It was a good game, but we’re going to have to step it up,” Napavine coach Mike Dieckman said. “Every step you take at this level, it’s a harder game, and you can’t not just come out and play.”

When the offense came early for the Tigers (11-3-3, 7-1-1 C2BL), it came through sophomore winger Hannah Fay, who menaced the Riverhawks (5-11-1, 4-5 C2BL) down the left side for much of the first half.

“She’s just been on fire,” Dieckman said.

Fay started the match with an opening shot across the bow, taking control down the wing, getting free into the 18-yard box, and sending a shot across goal that beat goalkeeper Abril Cabrera but clanged off the post and out.

After 20 quiet minutes without many chances for either team, Fay got free down the left side again and drew contact in the box to be awarded a penalty, but Cabrera was up to the challenge and kept the game scoreless.

The Tigers finally got the go-ahead goal in the 28th, when once again, Fay found space down the left and cut into the box, this time putting a shot on frame that got past Cabrera and found netting.

Just before halftime, Napavine pulled the same script to get its second, though this time Fay cut to the outside to send in a cross instead of a shot — only for it to carom off multiple Toledo defenders and into the net for an own goal.

“I have a buddy who played professionally, and his whole thing would be ‘Central defenders get the ball, what do they do with it? Outside. Outside back gets it, where do they go with it? Outside. Center mid, where do you go with it? Outside,’” Dieckman said. “That’s the whole game. You’ve got to move them to get the inside open.”

The two goals turned things more comfortable for the Tigers, after the Riverhawks — looking for revenge after a season-ending loss at Napavine last season in the district tournament — had played one of their better defensive halves of the fall.

“We came in excited and wanting to win this really bad, and we had a lot of grit and excitement for this game,” Toledo coach Courtney Moore said. “I think that helped us play up to a No. 2 seed.”

Coming out of halftime, though the Tigers went for the final strike quickly, finally linking up the offense they were looking for from the start. Hayden Kaut launched a shot from the top of the penalty area in the 45th minute to make it 3-0, and three minutes later, got wide open for an easy tap-in from inside the 6-yard box for another goal.

Toledo got one back in the 72nd minute courtesy of Hallie Cournyer, who chipped it in on a rare shot on target for the Riverhawks.

The loss ends the fall season for Toledo, which will graduate three seniors: Maritza Salmeron. Quyn Norberg and Ahryanne Miller.

Napavine moves onto the district semifinals, moving out of loser-out territory. The Tigers will take on Onalaska on Thursday at Kalama High School. Napavine beat the Loggers 1-0 back on Oct. 2 in league play, though last year, Onalaska ended the Tigers’ season in the district tournament.