SHORELINE — Ridgefield’s objective Saturday, after a devastating loss the day before, was to play with joy. The smiles translated to goals and soon enough celebration as the Spudders ended their season with a 3-1 win over Selah in the 2A third-place game at Shoreline Stadium. The Spudders finish the year 18-5 and with the school’s second third-place finish (2014 was the other).
“There’s only two teams that end on a win in the playoffs,” coach Robbie Trimbo said. “We’ve won third and we’ve lost second. … It feels a lot better to end on a win.”
It also provided a nice send-off for an impactful senior class. No final game was sweeter than senior Brooke Weese’s Spudder finale. The Concordia University signee scored two first-half goals on assists from fellow seniors Grace Melbeur and Taylor Hope.
“It means everything,” said Weese, who requested to play forward before the match. “I just wanted to end the season really well.”
Lauren Fox and Annika Farley are the other seniors who helped return the Spudders to state contention after missing the state tournament the past two seasons.
Farley, though, was plagued by shin splints the final “six to eight weeks” of the season, Trimbo said, and it finally became too much to fight through. Farley, while limited in her movement, still played a meaningful part in Friday’s defeat. She sat out Saturday’s match.
Her younger sister, Elizabeth, made sure to honor her. Promising a goal to her sister and “best friend” before the match, Elizabeth Farley cashed in. In the 38th minute, she snuck one inside the upright to put the Spudders up 3-0.
“I don’t normally score, but it’s been really hard to watch her struggle,” Elizabeth Farley said. “Knowing you can’t play at 100 percent your senior year.”
Elizabeth Farley leads a bevy of young future stars for the Spudders, who were anchored in large part by freshmen this season. Claire Jones, who had an assist on Farley’s score, was a dynamic goalscorer. Outside defenders Ella Krause and Emily Johnson started all year.
Combined with sophomores like Paytn Barnette, Alyssa Dewey and Elizabeth Farley, the Spudders feel poised to become a state mainstay.
“It builds momentum,” Trimbo said. “When you make it this far, and they have memories like this and an emotional attachment to a season like, and they get a taste for how exciting it is, it makes it phenomenally easier (to get buy-in).”
RIDGEFIELD 3, SELAH 1
Goal (assist) — Isabelle Moultray (unassisted); Goalkeeper saves — Madysen Muir 5, Jayden Horton 2.
Goal (assist) — Brooke Weese (Hope Taylor), Weese (Grace Melbeur), Elizabeth Farley (Claire Jones); Goalkeeper saves — Paige Jones 2, Kayleigh Gates 2.
Halftime — 3-0.