CAMAS — With a trip to the Class 4A state soccer final four on the line, a familiar foe stood in the way of the Camas Papermakers.
No. 7 seed Issaquah, the team Camas battled in last season’s state championship all the way to a penalty kick shootout won by the Papermakers, got redemption with a 1-0 victory in Saturday’s state quarterfinals at Doc Harris Stadium.
Eagles senior forward Shelby Runje scored the game’s lone goal in the 23rd minute by carving out a sliver of space in a crowd of Camas defenders and delivering a strike into the top corner of the net.
“Like we always tell the girls, you only need the space of the ball to score a goal,” Camas head coach Keri Tomasetti said. “She found that space and she was able to sneak it through the defense and get it in. It was a well placed ball … can’t do much better than that.”
The No. 2 seed Papermakers (17-2-2) had won 15 straight games dating back to mid-September, including the last seven without surrendering a single goal in regulation or overtime.
It’s a credit to one of the team’s strongest positions on the field, a back line led by senior center backs Hannah Terry and Madeline Johnson, as well as senior goalkeeper Keely Wieczorek. But those results also reflect how few times Camas has faced a trailing situation like Saturday.
“We’re not a high-scoring team as it is,” Tomasetti said. “(We) just unfortunately didn’t get on the end of one of the many opportunities that we had, and that’s how soccer is played sometimes.”
The Papermakers started the second half with one corner and two free kicks in the first 10 minutes, including shots on goal by Bella Burns and Savannah Kvistad both saved by Issaquah keeper Ava Bruns.
Issaquah (13-4) nearly put through a second goal on a cross from Runje into the box that left the Papermakers’ goal open, but the Eagles’ shot veered wide of the far post.
The final Camas chances included a Johnson free kick in the 74th minute punched out by the keeper Bruns, and a corner kick taken by Burns in stoppage time that Issaquah cleared.
“They are one of those teams that you can never count out because they always come in hard and they want it — just as bad as their opponent,” Tomasetti said.
After the referee blew the final whistle, Camas took a few moments to recognize its senior class — which also includes Burns, Nora Melcher, Addie Wunderli and Morgan Wetzel — and the leadership they provided.
“This particular group of girls we had this year are just phenomenal people. Beyond the soccer-playing aspect, they’re just really good humans,” Tomasetti said. “Walking away, losing these seniors is sad because they’re all just amazing. All the girls are being hit hard right now, just for the idea that they won’t be back.
“We’re just going forward and continuing that idea of, we can be good soccer players and good humans. That’s what these girls are.”