Jocelyn Burgess was on-target and the Wildcats are headed to state.
Burgess, a senior, scored three goals, including the game-winner with about 10 minutes as La Center clinched a berth in the Class 1A state tournament with a 3-2 win Thursday over Tenino in the district playoffs at Kalama High School.
“We’re going to celebrate this win for a while, then get ready to head north to play somebody,” La Center coach Herm VanWeerdhuizen said.
That somebody will be University Prep or King’s. The two Seattle school are co-champions of the District 1/2/3 tournament and will flip a coin to determine seeding to state. The Wildcats will play the No. 2 seed on Wednesday.
Unlike La Center’s opening playoff win against Elma, VanWeerdhuizen was pleased with his team’s intensity against Tenino.
“The whole team gave its all tonight,” VanWeerdhuizen said. “I was really proud of the way they stepped it up. The defense put in a good effort. We didn’t back down. We outhustled and outworked them.”
Burgess scored two first-half goals off assists from Brynne Dykes. But Tenino tied the game in the second half 2-2.
In the 70th minute, Burgess took a pass from Megan Vansoest from 20 yards out and shot it past the Tenino goalkeeper for the winner.
“We knew she had a strong foot,” VanWeerdhuizen said. But she was on accurately tonight. You could see why she’s probably going to be playing Division I soccer.”