Olivia Fothergill lined up to take free kick more than 25 yards away from the goal. Her coach didn’t have to guess what she was going to do next.
Without hesitation, she booted a shot that sailed outside the reach of the Evergreen goalkeeper, splashing into the net.
“That kid’s always looking for the goal,” Mountain View coach Cameron Cox said. “Just a laser, beautifully hit shot.”
And against her former school? That was the icing on the cake.
Three minutes later, Fothergill, who has played for Mountain View the past two seasons after attending Evergreen (6-7, 3-4 3A GSHL) as a freshman, put the Thunder (8-1-3, 6-0-1) up 3-0 over Evergreen, the scoreline that eventually became final on Wednesday night at McKenzie Stadium.
Fothergill’s brace — two goals in one game — boosted her season tally to 26. The University of Oregon commit has been instrumental in Mountain View’s season — one Cox sees as the Thunder’s best shot at winning league since they owned a share of it in 2008.
“It’s been quite awhile … Mountain View’s due for a league title,” Cox said, “and we’re hoping this is the year we can do that.”
Mountain View finished in the middle of the pack in the 4A Greater St. Helens League for much of Cox’s tenure. When the Thunder were reclassified to 3A in 2016, they finished second, a mere five points behind Prairie in the 3A GSHL and four points behind the Falcons for second place last season.
This year, however, the Thunder are tied for first with Prairie and with Fothergill leading the attack, and a defense which has allowed just three goals through seven league games, young-but-mighty Mountain View feels as though this year is its best shot.
Center defender Autumn McMahon got the Thunder on the board in the 14th minute, when her free kick from more than 25 yards out went untouched inside the box, including by the keeper, and bounced into the goal.
They scored three goals in a a six minute span in the first 20 minutes of the game.
“Sometimes certain individuals can make it difficult for you,” Evergreen coach Keenan Burris said. “(Fothergill’s) ability to strike a ball makes it tough at times.”
Fothergill feels a newfound confidence this season with the ball at her feet, and it was on display throughout much of the game Wednesday. She took shots at will, and kept the Evergreen defense on its toes and sometimes in the dust.
But the Plainsmen’s physical play in the second half paid off. Despite the Thunder’s relentless opportunities, Evergreen goalkeeper Makayla Hiler posted a clean slate in the final 40 minutes. She finished with eight saves.
But when it starts hot, Mountain View feels as though it has its blueprint for success.
“We definitely play better throughout the game when we have the upper hand,” Fothergill said.
Cox still remembers being pleasantly surprised when Fothergill showed up at Mountain View. During her freshman season, he coached against her and knew she’d be “something special.” Now, over a year later, he can’t imagine the team without her.
“I’m just glad we’re not playing against her,” Cox said.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 3, EVERGREEN 0
Goals (assists) — Autumn McMahon (unassisted), Olivia Fothergill (unassisted), Fothergill (Perla Ramirez); Goalkeeper saves — Waverly Iverson 0. Coach’s standout — Perla Martinez and Juliana Hill.
Goalkeeper saves — Makayla Hiler 8. Coach’s standout — Rose Camacho and Maddie Harris.
Halftime — 3-0.