Blue Devil girls nipped by Chiawana booters

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PASCO - Paige Pontarolo narrowly missed a hat trick, scoring two goals for the Wa-Hi girls soccer team and had one called back on an offsides infraction in a 4-3 loss to the Chiawana Riverhawks here Saturday.

The Blue Devils led 2-0 at halftime, on a Madeline Sirmon goal and a Pontarolo goal.

Sirmon's goal was on a cross to the front of the box that bounced off a Riverhawk defender and was kicked in by Sirmon.

Pontarolo's first-half goal was booted high and far from near midfield and into the goal.

"At halftime I gave my players instructions to keep playing really hard because I knew they (Chiawana) would be coming at us quickly," Wa-Hi coach Jesse Cruz said. "They had nothing to lose because they were already down 2-0."

Despite the warning, the Riverhawks came out in the first 20 minutes of half and scored two goals to tie it at 2-all.

"Before I knew it Chiawana had a third goal, but Pontarolo was able score another goal to make it 3-3 before the end of regulation."

Pontarolo's second goal came on a foul kick outside of the box that went in for the score.

Pontarolo's third attempt at scoring was negated by an offsides call on the Blue Devils just before the end of regulation.

Two overtime stanzas of five minutes remained and the golden goal, or sudden death, overtime began.

A questionable hands call on Blue Devils inside the goal box led to a Riverhawks penalty kick in the second overtime. Chiawana was able to execute the shot and kicked it past Wa-Hi goalkeeper Alexis Sanchez.

"We had two calls against us that could have gone the other way," Cruz said. "The offsides call when we seemed to score and the hands call inside the box that allowed for the winning shot for them.

"I'm really proud of the girls, though. We played an exceptional game. Last year, we lost to Chiawana 7-0 and 3-1. So there is some improvement there and if we can fix some little things, we are going to be really good."

The Wa-Hi girls play again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Richland.

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