A soccer season to remember ended with a stinging loss for the Enumclaw girls the evening of No. 13.
Kiana Gutierrez’s goal just over a minute into overtime vaulted Auburn Riverside to the 4A state quarterfinals, leaving Enumclaw out in the cold of a physical, hard-fought match.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said Hornets coach Shawn Tobias, walking off the field at Auburn Memorial Stadium. “Just disappointed. We’ve come this far. We had our chances. It just hurts.”
Enumclaw, which handed the third-ranked Ravens their only loss of the season back in September, finished its run 11-6-3. Auburn Riverside (18-1-1) moved on to host Olympia in the second round at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The North Puget Sound League teams had split their Olympic Division matches – with the Hornets winning at home (1-0 on Sept. 24) and the Ravens responding at home (3-1 on Oct. 17). Last week’s state playoff opener was a tightly wound match with each team scrambling but missing several scoring chances throughout regulation play.
Monica Brown, the Hornets’ senior midfielder, moved to the center-back position and joined her teammates to smother the Ravens’ attack, keeping it in check.
“She did a really good job,” Ravens coach Paul Lewis said of Brown. “She put out a lot of fires when we were attacking … that was good strategy in trying to slow us down. We still had some opportunities but it wasn’t like the same breakouts that we had the last time we played them.
“They raised their game and challenged us.”
Scoreless in regulation, the teams turned to a five-minute, sudden-death overtime session to settle it. Auburn Riverside immediately put an end to the drama when Grace Anderson’s left-footed pass skirted between Enumclaw defenders and found a streaking Gutierrez, who beat a defender to the ball and cut to the goal. She stopped, gathered her feet and deposited the ball into the upper right shelf of the net with 3:48 left to play in the extra period.
Instant celebration ensued.
“I knew she (goalie Claire Lewis) was going to try to force me to the left side so I paused and cut it to my right, and then just shot it perfectly,” said Gutierrez, a sophomore forward. “It feels very good, very very good.
And a not-so-good feeling for the Hornets, who had their chances to go home with the win.
“I’m just proud of my girls. They played hard,” Tobias said. “Unfortunately, soccer can be cruel, and it wasn’t our day. But again, I am so proud of my girls and how they played. The heart they gave, the desire. … It just hurts.”