Wellander PK sends Pirates to State


On Monday, the Adna soccer team missed a penalty kick in the first half, and set up a chain of events that led to the Pirates earning a bid to the 2B state tournament with a 3-2 win over Napavine in Tenino.

After missing from the spot in their first-round win over Raymond-South Bend, the Pirates’ coaches had a meeting of the minds at halftime and decided to try a new tack, giving Lilly Wellander the ball the next time they had the chance from 12 yards out. Wellander made it, and Adna had its new penalty-taker.

Fast-forward to Saturday in on the Black Top, and Wellander got another shot, with all the pressure in the world. Tied 2-2 deep into stoppage time, Adna had kept the ball in the attacking third, and a ball in the air bounced off a Tigers’ arm in the box.

“When it happened today, there was no question,” Adna coach Patrick Richardson said. “Even some of the girls on the field were pointing at her telling her to take it.”

So Wellander stepped up to the spot again, for the final kick of the game, with a State bid on her foot and Napavine’s Taylen Evander 12 yards away.

“She’s been pretty calm and collected for us,” Richardson said. “She stepped up and kicked the PK and drilled it in the back of the net.”

The win sends the Pirates to their 10th straight 2B state tournament. They’ll learn their seeding and first-round opponent Sunday.

Saturday morning dawned gray and rainy, and the match in Tenino reflected that for the better part of a half. Napavine took the lead on a Hannah Fay shot that deflected off an Adna defender, before Adna equalized on an own goal.

The Tigers went back ahead thanks to Ellie Gilbert, and took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

But by then, the rain had begun to clear up, and in the better weather, the Pirates began to tilt the field in their favor.

Wellander tied it up at 2-2 in the second half, and Adna kept pressing, before finally they got their chance to go ahead at the final moment.

“The timing couldn’t have been better for us,” Richardson said.

Napavine’s season comes to an end with an 11-5-3 record overall. The Tigers will graduate just one senior in Avery Schutz and return their other 10 starters next fall.