HOCKINSON — Freshman Ellie Seekins scored the go-ahead goal with four minutes to as the Hockinson girls soccer team defeated R.A. Long 2-1 in the Class 2A district semifinals Tuesday night.
Hockinson will face Columbia River at 7 p.m. Thursday for the district title at Kiggins Bowl. The Hawks assured themselves a state berth with Tuesday’s win.
In the first half, the Hawks had five shots on goal and countless others that missed just wide but Maddie Barker, the freshman keeper for RA Long, kept the shutout intact through the first 40 minutes.
After the break, the momentum swung in RA Long’s direction. After barely controlling the ball in the first half in the attacking third, the Lumberjacks were nearly able to put away a corner kick and Kelsie Bern had a shot saved by Jenna Talarico.
The pressure was visibly starting to affect the Hawks as passes that found feet in the first half were a touch too late or weren’t attempted at all.
“In order to score we have to possess first,” Seekins said. “In the first half, we had a lot of shots but the keeper was playing really well. In the second half we went away from that.”
Hockinson’s Natalie Johnson broke the stalemate in the 58th minute tapping in the rebound after Barker saved a Brooke Grosz shot.
Hockinson was able to keep the rhythm and lead for a brief moment before Maddie Wolff tied the game with a header off a corner kick.
“So much of what we do is rhythm so when we didn’t have rhythm we played into their hands,” Hockinson coach Joe Chicks said.
The game plan after the game-tying score was simple to Johnson: “We should probably score again.”
Each team trade punches until the 76th minute when Johnson found the freshman Seekins for the game-winning score.
Not the typical goal-scorer, Seekins may have been the most shocked player in the field.
“Right when it went over her hands I just dropped and thought ‘what just happened?’ ” she said.
Chicks said the Hawks strategy will remain the same going forward, with one simple adjustment: “Try to get on the board early.”