CAMAS — It was impossible to understand the year the Camas girls soccer team has endured from watching the Papermakers’ 2-0 win over Union on Friday.
They moved the ball well, defended fiercely, Anna Mooney scored twice and Camas improved to 10-0 in the 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League. They were also maskless, the first Clark County sports team to play a game with no face coverings in more than a year.
When the state moved to Phase 3 on Monday, masks became optional in competition. The Papermakers wear them in practice and on the sidelines, but go without during games.
It was Camas’ second game without face coverings. Union’s players continued to wear them.
“It is really strange actually,” Camas coach Keri Tomasetti said. “I’ve told some of the girls ‘I don’t recognize you’ because I’ve only seen the top half of their face.”
The return to some semblance of normal was welcomed by the Papermakers. After the lengthy delay to the season due to COVID-19, the Papermakers again had to hit pause earlier this month when several coronavirus cases forced Camas High School to halt extracurricular activities for one week.
“We were scrambling,” Tomasetti said of trying to figure out what the hiatus meant for league standings and schedules.
The Papermakers were first in the 4A/3A GSHL at the start of that week and fourth after it.
“We had to work our way back up,” Tomasetti said. “That took a lot of grit for the girls to come from that hole and not completely give up.”
The Papermakers didn’t miss a beat. The first day they returned to action, they were 2-1 victors over Union. They went on to win three games in four days – topping Skyview and Kelso in the process.
On Friday, Camas moved one step closer to securing a 4A GSHL title and perfect season.
In the 48th minute, Mooney got her foot on a loose ball in the penalty area and put Camas on the board. She got away from all Union (7-2-1) defenders on a counter-attack in the 79th minute and finished past goalkeeper Taylor Tinnon, who made eight saves, to seal the victory.
“I know she’s a good keeper; she had a really good save before,” Mooney said of her thoughts as she sprinted with the ball at her feet more than 40 yards untouched. “I was just trying to take a deep breath, stay composed.”
The Papermakers need just one tie in their last two games to secure the title. They play Skyview on Tuesday and Mountain View on Thursday to complete their season.