PUYALLUP — Their state title hopes now gone, the Camas girls soccer team instead shifted their focus Saturday to ending their season with a win.
And it did.
Their 2-1 victory over Kennedy Catholic is the program’s third consecutive state trophy, a feat Perrin Belzer, the program’s only four-year starter, walked away proud moments after the Papermakers received the 4A third-place trophy at Sparks Stadium. Because third straight state trophies means third consecutive trips to the state playoffs’ Final Four.
“It is bittersweet,” Belzer said. “I’m so happy and excited. Hopefully, the program can continue to come back to the Final Four. I’m happy with the outcome of everything.”
Coach Roland Minder said achieving third place was beyond what he would’ve imagined at the beginning of the season when several new pieces were put into place off the 2016 4A state championship team.
“That’s an understatement,” he said.
One of those newer pieces is junior Callie Rheaume, who’s made the most of her opportunities given all season as a midfielder and goalkeeper. She did the same Saturday, too, coming off the bench scoring a goal and assisting Jazzy Paulson’s goal to break open the scoring after a scoreless game at halftime.
Paulson’s goal in the 42nd minute made it 1-0, and in the 51st minute, Rheaume fired a blast 30 yards out that made Camas’ lead 2-0.
It was her third goal of the season and first since Oct. 10.
“I had the space,” she said, “and I thought, ‘I might as well shoot it. You never know what can happen.’ I wanted to go out there and play as hard as I could for the team with whatever minutes I’ve got to give it my all because it’s our last game of the season. I wanted to leave it all on the field.”
Both Camas and Kennedy Catholic, out of Burien, each totaled 14 shots, and Belzer noted that Rheaume was a difference maker in helping the Papermakers’ momentum going in the right direction to begin the second half. Bailey Hall’s goal in the 58th minute pulled the Lancers within 2-1.
And as Minder reminded his team following Friday’s 3-1 loss to Issaquah, only two teams in each classification can end their season with a victory.
And Camas did.
Said Belzer: “It’s good to end the season with a win.”
CAMAS 2, KENNEDY CATHOLIC 1
Goals (assists) — Jazzy Paulson (Callie Rheaume), Rheaume
Goalkeeper saves — Falissitie DePasquale, 2
Goals — Bailey Hall
Goalkeeper saves — Jaclyn Seifert, 6
Halftime — 0-0.