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Columbia River routs Selah 5-0 to reach 2A state title match

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter
Published:
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Columbia River's Katie Anthony, facing, celebrates with teammates after she scored the Chieftains' third goal during their Class 2A state semifinal match on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Wash.
Columbia River's Katie Anthony, facing, celebrates with teammates after she scored the Chieftains' third goal during their Class 2A state semifinal match on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Wash. (Madison McCord/Yakima Herald-Republic) Photo Gallery

SHORELINE — In a word, impressive.

Victories in state semifinal matches are not supposed to come so easy, but that is what the Columbia River girls soccer team made it look like Friday night. Easy.

From pressure that started seconds into the match.

To a goal in the first couple of minutes.

A three-goal lead at halftime.

The Chieftains did not allow a shot from their opponents until well into the second half.

Then a couple more goals just for good measure.

Columbia River rolled past Selah 5-0 at Shoreline Stadium, advancing to the Class 2A state championship match. The Chieftains will play Liberty of Issaquah at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Katie Anthony scored two goals and assisted on another and Ellie Walker scored twice to lead the Chieftains.

“Energy. We were all just ready to go,” Walker said.

“We get in a rhythm, and it just clicks,” Anthony said.

The Chieftains have won 16 consecutive matches, but some are better than others.

“Last game, I was very happy with our performance. This game, I’m very happy with our performance, too. I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Columbia River coach Filomon Afenegus said. “We’ve come a long way.”

Coaches and players acknowledged they did not expect such a lopsided victory. Not in soccer. Not at this level. Not in the final four.

“I honestly just feel we are a great solid team,” Afenegus said. “We don’t have any flaws. When everybody plays to the level they are capable of, it all comes together really, really well, and we look the part.”

Yaneisy Rodriguez scored in the seventh minute from a tough angle. It appeared it was intended to be a crossing pass to the front of the goal, but the ball soared and turned toward the net, sailing over the keeper’s head for a 1-0 lead.

Ava Greer found Walker on a great feed for a breakaway in the 16th minute for a 2-0 lead.

Anthony’s first goal came off a corner kick from Katie Lee. Anthony headed the ball into the net just moments before halftime.

The Chieftains kept their focus at the break.

“Get another goal,” Walker said. “Three-zero is not a comfortable lead.”

They got No. 4 in the 54th minute, when a long free kick by Anthony hit off the crossbar right to Walker for an easy put-back.

“No one marked me. I was wide open,” Walker said.

Anthony got another chance on a long free kick just five minutes later. This time, she found the net from 35 yards away for a 5-0 lead.

“I knew it was in as soon as I saw it in the air. I saw the keeper,” Anthony said. “No way she could touch it.”

The field was as tilted in River’s favor as much, if not more, than the score indicated. Selah did not have its first shot until the 48th minute of the match. Columbia River goalkeeper Emma Fisk had one save in a drama-free evening.

The Chieftains expect a tougher challenge in the championship match. Liberty of Issaquah beat Archbishop Murphy 6-2 in the other semifinal.

“They’re a high-powered offense. We’re a high-powered offense,” Afenegus said. “It’s going to be a good one.”

Saturday will tell its own story. For Friday, though, the Chieftains are on an emotional high.

“It’s just crazy,” Anthony said. “It’s so exciting. At the beginning of the season, this was our goal. It’s crazy to think we made it and we potentially could be champ … champions.”

“We have a hard time saying it,” Walker said with a smile.

“We don’t want to jinx it,” Anthony said. No jinx for Columbia River on Friday night. The Chieftains looked like champions.

COLUMBIA RIVER 5, SELAH 0

Columbia River

Goals (assists) — Yaneisy Rodriguez; Ellie Walker (Ava Greer); Katie Anthony (Katie Lee); Walker (Anthony); Anthony (free kick). Goalkeeper saves — Emma Fish 1.

Halftime — 3-0.

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Columbian High School Sports Reporter