CAMAS — The message to Camas boys soccer players after a 1-0 defeat to Bellarmine Prep was short and simple.
“Keep your heads up, and follow the road that we’re dealt,” Camas head coach Josh Stoller said.
The Papermakers (10-4-2) had a chance to clinch a state tournament berth in Saturday’s Class 4A bi-district game at Doc Harris Stadium, but were instead upstaged by the defending state champion Lions.
Senior Evan Janakievski scored the game’s lone goal in the 35th minute to get Bellarmine Prep back to state.
Camas, the 4A Greater St. Helens League champion, now moves to the other side of the 4A bi-district bracket where the margin for error is slim. The Papermakers must win two games to reach state, starting with a loser-out game Tuesday against Olympia at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.
Despite having a leg up in possession for most of the first half, the Papermakers were unable to put many shots on target and pressure the Lions.
With under 10 minutes until halftime, Bellarmine Prep earned two straight corner kicks, both taken by junior midfielder Jaggar Judkins.
Judkins curved the second corner into a crowd in front of the goal. Janakievski’s header took one hop off the turf and into the net.
“It was kind of a scramble in the box there. I think it could’ve been prevented,” Stoller said. “But I think it’s a team effort there and we know how to defend set pieces. We just didn’t do it.”
Camas sophomore goalkeeper William Taves made three saves and senior forward JP Warnell led the team in shots taken.
The state hopeful Papermakers will soon find out what they’re made of. Fortunately, they have recent experience to draw from.
In 2022, Camas won three consecutive loser-out bi-district games to reach the state tournament and made a run to the quarterfinals before falling to top seed Pasco.
“We got a lot of the same guys, so a lot of them have been through that road,” Stoller said. “We’ll just have to take it one game at a time, have some travel and hopefully we can win a couple games to get into the state tournament.”
The winner of Tuesday’s loser-out game will get two chances to reach state with games on Thursday and Saturday, if necessary.
BELLARMINE PREP 1, CAMAS 0
Goals — Evan Janakievski (Jaggar Judkins); Goalkeeper saves — Jayson Baldwin 1.
Goalkeeper saves — Williams Taves 3.
Halftime — Bellarmine Prep 1-0.