Wa-Hi girls soccer team loses to Richland on season finale

Wa-Hi's defense suffers several breakdowns, coach Alyssa Latham says, which led to the loss.



Wa-Hi's Alison Zander (No. 18) tangles with Richland's Shelby Long late in the first half of their match Tuesday, which was won by the Bombers 6-0.


Wa-Hi goalkeeper Vanessa Wyckoff blocks a first-half shot by Richland Tuesday. Wyckoff had 12 saves in the game.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s girls soccer team suffered a 6-0 loss to the visiting Richland Bombers Tuesday afternoon.

Kenzie Lubeck and Bria Caldwell led the Bombers with two goals apiece, but Blue Devil goalkeeper Kaitlynn Griffith kept her side reasonably close, making 12 saves on the day.

"We played some good defense today despite a couple of breakdowns in communications and mishaps, but our goalie made some great saves," coach Alyssa Latham said.

Richland rotated in three different goalies throughout the game and held the Blue Devils scoreless.

Richland took five shots, putting three on goal, in the first 10 minutes before finally breaking through in the 11th minute. Jackie Gates scored the first Bomber goal, unassisted, from the right side of the field from about 20 yards out.

Four minutes later, Lubeck scored from about 30 yards, sending the ball from right to left diagonally to the top left corner of the net, just out Griffith’s reach.

The Bombers wasted very little time — about one minute — before making it 3-0.

Caldwell dribbled through the middle of the box on a breakaway. Griffith dove, but the shot glanced off her fingertips to roll slowly into the corner of the net.

The Bombers took seven more shots (five on goal) before Wa-Hi regrouped and moved the ball downfield for shots of its own.

In the 32nd minute of the first half, Brittany Gibbard’s shot from the far left corner bounced off the post and Richland keeper Olivia Diaz, setting up a corner kick for the Blue Devils.

Paige Pontarolo took the corner kick, bouncing the ball off a Richland defender. Pontarolo collected the rebound and launched a shot on goal that was blocked by Diaz with her foot.

That gave Wa-Hi a second corner kick, which the Richland defense cleared.

After another shot by the Bombers, Wa-Hi came close to scoring. Diaz dove to catch a crossing pass but fumbled the ball away. Wa-Hi’s Rosa Escalante got off a shot but Diaz reached up from the ground to make the save.

The Blue Devils took one more shot before halftime. McKenzie Fisher passed it far ahead to Stephanie Fisher, whose shot from the left side missed wide right of the goal.

Caldwell scored again in the 10th minute of the second half to make it 4-0. Kirsten Calmus added a goal five minutes later to extend Richland’s lead to 5-0.

Lubeck tacked on her second goal with about six minutes left in the game to complete the scoring.

The Blue Devils managed only two shots in the second half.

The Bombers outshot Wa-Hi 21-6 for the game, which included a 12-2 edge in shots on goal.

"Richland has a great team," Latham said. "They have lost only one in conference, making them 9-1 in league. They are now waiting to see how other teams did to see who won the conference. It is good to play them to see how we are really doing."

This was the last game of the season for the Blue Devils, who finished with a 2-10 record.

"The girls really grew, learned and made positive progress toward the next season," Latham said.

Seniors Lexi Zander and Alyssa Smyth played their final games and will be missed next season, Latham said.

"They played well as midfielders, helping defend the goal as well as taking the ball upfield for scoring opportunities."


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