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White River High falls short in Class 2A soccer championship, falls to Sehome High

White River High School
White River High School's girls soccer team poses for a team photo at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The Hornets fell to the Sehome Mariners in the championship game that night.
— image credit: Kevin Hanson

A dream season came to a disappointing close for the White River High Hornets, who fell to the Sehome Mariners 6-2 Saturday in the Class 2A soccer championships.

The season finale was played at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

The Hornets entered the 2A championship tile riding a seven-game winning streak that spanned the conclusion of the South Puget Sound League 2A season and included playoff victories over Black Hills, Klahowya and East Valley of Spokane.

The momentum that had been built in recent weeks was quickly doused Saturday by the quick and talented Mariners.

Sehome jumped on top 3-0 in the first half on goals by Madison Heilmann, Madeline May and Jessica Bertucci. Shortly before intermission, White River cut into the lead thanks to a penalty kick converted by senior Morgan Brown.

Sehome left little doubt as to the eventual outcome, adding three more goals in the second half, two by Bertucci, to take a 6-1 advantage. White River's Ashley Powell added the Hornets' second goal in the 62nd minute off an assist from Cassidy France.

White River coach Charlie Carlier knew his crew was disappointed immediately after the game, but was convinced they would soon realize the magnitude of their accomplishment. Saturday's contest marked the first time a Hornet team has played for the state soccer championship and it was done with a crew that should – with just three exceptions – return next year. Carlier will lost seniors Brown and Nicole Partlow and has one underclassman who will be moving from the district.

More than anything, Carlier has appreciated this year's dedication to doing things the right way.

"It basically comes down to the fact that they give 100 percent all game, every game," he said leading up to his team's appearance in the final four. "Never once have I had to ask them to pick up the pace."

Heading into the season, Carlier said, he knew the Hornets could be good, but he didn't anticipate a run to the season's final weekend. "I knew were had a solid squad, but I also knew were still young," he said. The season before, the Hornets had taken some lumps while starting five freshmen.

Now, the attitude is different.

"We know what it takes to get here," he said after Saturday's finale. "The girls have had a taste of success. We'll be back."

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