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Feb. 26, 2024

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2A soccer: Lasch, defense leads Ridgefield to 3-0 win over R.A. Long in district title game

Columbia River, Hockinson also clinched state playoff berths

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
3 Photos
The Ridgefield girls soccer team celebrate with the championship trophy after the Spudders’ 3-0 win over R.A. Long in the Class 2A girls soccer district championship game at Ridgefield High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.
The Ridgefield girls soccer team celebrate with the championship trophy after the Spudders’ 3-0 win over R.A. Long in the Class 2A girls soccer district championship game at Ridgefield High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

RIDGEFIELD – The payoff after a grueling trip through the competitive 2A Greater St. Helens League came with relative ease Saturday for the Ridgefield girls soccer team.

Tori Lasch gave the Spudders an early lead, and the Spudder backline made sure that would be enough in a 3-0 win over R.A. Long in the 2A district championship game.

“It feels really great that finally all the work we’ve been putting in is finally paying off and we’re getting to places we want to be, getting to all the goals that we created at the start of the year,” senior defender Keaira Farley said.

It got started quickly with Lasch scoring off an assist from Marlee Buffham in the fifth minute.

11 Photos
Ridgefield junior Tori Lasch celebrates after scoring a goal in the Spudders’ 3-0 win over R.A. Long in the Class 2A girls soccer district championship game at Ridgefield High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.
2A district soccer: Ridgefield vs RA Long Photo Gallery

“Marlee played a perfect cross to me, and it was an easy tap-in,” Lasch said. “It really gave us confidence throughout the whole game.”

And the way the Ridgefield defense was playing also gave the Spudders the confidence to keep attacking on offense. Farley added a second goal in the 34th on a free kick from 20 yards out.

“I think as a group all year, we’ve been very disciplined, very organized,” Ridgefield coach Steven Evans said. “It starts with (Gabriela Semlick and Tyler Merlock) our goalies. And then in front of them, our defenders are keeping our shape, staying organized, winning balls when we need to. That’s been great for us. We haven’t allowed many goals during the season and we definitely want to keep that momentum going.”

The Spudders’ discipline defense allows some of their backline to get involved in the attack, allowing Ridgefield to keep pressure on R.A. Long all match long.

“Our game plan against these guys was to use our outside backs a lot,” Evans said. “Keaira does a fantastic job of getting down the line. So we knew we could use those outside backs to get forward.”

Evans said the play of the center backs allows the Spudders’ outside to get forward in the attack.

“We have Nora (Martin) and Ava (Kruckenberg) as our center backs who do a fantastic job of cleaning anything else up,” Evans said.

The Spudders will await Sunday’s seeding announcement to see who they play in the state playoffs, but they hope to be able to play at home, perhaps twice next week.

“R.A. Long is a great team,” Evans said. “We have a lot of great teams in our conference. So I think that helps us get ready for state. We’ve been battled-tested a lot. We’ve played in a lot of big games that are state-championship caliber games. So hopefully we take that mentality into the first-round of state.”

COLUMBIA RIVER 5, TUMWATER 1 – Remi Buckley scored two goals and Ivy Henderson added a goal and assists as the Rapids clinched a 2A state playoff berth in a loser-out game at home.

Paige Johnson scored on an assist from Henderson, Peyton Dukes scored on a free kick, then Henderson added a goal on a penalty kick as River built a 3-0 lead at halftime.

HOCKINSON 1, WOODLAND 0 – Abby Dombrow’s second-half goal sent the Hawks into the 2A state playoffs in a loser-out game at Battle Ground’s District Stadium.

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