Shalece Easley got the goal.
Columbia River’s defense did the rest.
Easley scored with 33 minutes left as the Columbia River girls soccer team beat Hockinson 1-0 on Thursday at Kiggins Bowl.
The win puts Columbia River (7-1) into first place in the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League. It also avenged a loss to Hockinson (6-3) on Sept. 19.
Since that loss, Columbia River has won six league matches in a row, outscoring its opponents 21-1.
“We just talk consistently about getting better every day,” River coach Filomon Afenegus said. “The defense is firing on all cylinders. The offense in starting to come along too.”
Easley scored when Yaneisy Rodruguez found her running toward the goal’s right post. The sophomore hit a low shot inside the left post for the eventual match-winner.
“I wasn’t just playing because I wanted to make a goal, I was playing because this is my team,” Easley said. “All the seniors, this is their last year, so I want to do my best to give them the best last year.”
Hockinson had a handful of good scoring chances down the stretch. With 12 minutes left, Columbia River goalkeeper Alex Schulz made a diving save on a well-struck shot.
“It was just reflex, I guess,” said Schulz, who had four saves. “We all just work together. We’re very close, so we have good communication and bonds.”
Three minutes after Schulz’s save, River defender Sophie Landers booted the ball off the goal line after it bounced dangerously in front of the goal for a few tense seconds.
With four league games remaining, River is in the driver’s seat for the 2A GSHL title and a return to the postseason. Several key players graduated from last year’s 2A state championship team, so this year’s group feels like it needs only live up to its own expectations.
“It’s just to find your ceiling and see how far we can get as a team,” Schulz said.
Stars of the day
• Katie Kogler, Firm Foundation volleyball, had 14 kills and three aces in a five-set win over Columbia Adventist.
• Emma Swett, Woodland volleyball, had 12 assists, 4 kills, 4 aces in a straight-set win over R.A. Long.
• Alicia Wallingford, Columbia River volleyball, had six kills, six blocks and seven aces as River rallied from two sets down to beat Hockinson 11-25, 20-25, 25-9, 25-22, 18-16.
• Amanda Holm, La Center volleyball, with 26 assists, 5 digs, 3 kills, 4 aces.
• Kiya Gere, Seton Catholic girls soccer, had a goal and an assist in the Cougars’ 2-0 win over Castle Rock.
• Bailey Segall, Camas girls swimming, won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and was on winning 200 free and 400 free relays as Camas beat Skyview and Fort Vancouver.
• Kohana Fukuchi, Ridgefield volleyball, had 20 assists, 10 digs, 2 kills, 2 aces as the Spudders beat Washougal in four.