BATTLE GROUND — Some teams can claim perfect seasons. Even fewer can say they had flawless years.
Hockinson girls soccer did just that over the past five weeks, going 11-0 and outscoring opponents 55-0.
They capped the unblemished season with a 2-0 win over Tumwater in the 2A Southwest District Championship on Saturday at District Stadium.
Junior goalkeeper Amanda Jeschke did not allow a goal this year. In front of her at central defender was her sister Jamie Jeschke helping the shutout efforts.
“She saves my butt quite often,” Amanda Jeschke said, choking up as she said the words. “I’m so sad I don’t get to play with her next year, because she’s my sister and I love her.”
Along with the Jeschkes, seniors Kati Waggoner, Kailey Findlay and Cailyn Broten all played key roles on defense.
The year was a culmination of sorts, a year to show Hockinson soccer is ready to stay among the state’s elite teams.
Two years ago, the Hawks won the 2A Greater St. Helens League title. They made a run to the state championship game last year, finishing as the 2A runner-up. This year, they rolled to 2A GSHL and Southwest District titles unscathed.
All that progress and momentum from the past two years, though, was nearly halted this offseason.
Not only did the Hawks have to wait, like the rest of the state, to get on the field, they did so without a coach. Former coach Joe Chicks took a job at Lower Columbia College in September. Hockinson didn’t hire George Moya until January.
The seniors organized small training groups and did their best to stay ready for when the season began. At that point it was hard to expect this type of year was coming.
Junior Payton Lawson, who missed the Hawks’ program-best finish last season with a torn ACL, scored a pair of goals on Saturday and Amanda Jeschke had to make just two saves for the Hawks.
“It’s weird to believe in myself as much as I did,” Jeschke said. “This is something that gave me so much stress, but I knew I had to do it for my team.”
In the 34th minute, Lawson found space in between defenders and headed home a free kick from Kendall McGraw to open the scoring. It was Lawson’s first header goal in high school or club competition.
“I joke with my friends that I’m the person who will sit back and clean stuff up,” Lawson said. “But it was a perfect ball from Kendall and I just got in the right space, right time and I was just able to flick it in there.”
Lawson booted in the rebound off Ellie Ritter’s shot in the 48th minute to make it 2-0.
Within the hour, athletic director Josh Johnson was handing the championship trophy to McGraw, the team’s captain.
“It’s beyond a feeling,” Jeschke said.
COLUMBIA RIVER 5, BLACK HILLS 0 – Columbia River capped an 8-2 year with a convincing victory in the 2A Southwest District third-place game at District Stadium.
The 2019 2A state champions got two goals from Grace Russell, and scores from Reggie Griffith, Paige Johnson and Luci Ianello. Jissel Valencia-Mendez, Andie Buckley, Sydney Johnson, Griffith and Ianello each had assists. River graduates six seniors.