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11/21/2012 4:59:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Bulldog soccer team places fourth at State
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

The Bulldogs girls soccer team finished the 2012 season fourth in State after many unexpected battles came their way. An escort of Cashmere fire trucks led the girls bus to the Cashmere High School where a display of fireworks awaited them as they returned home with their trophy.

The girls suffered through injuries and loss of practice due to smoke but were able to pull together in the end to play in the final tournament at Shoreline Stadium this past weekend.

The Bulldogs were one of the two returning teams to the State finals this year and felt confident going into their first game, according to Cashmere Head Coach, Dennis Tronson. Their opponent of the first game on Nov. 16, was the undefeated, seven time former champion, the Seattle Christian Warriors.

The Warriors came into the match with a 20-0 record and the No. 1 seed out of Districts 1, 2, and 3. The Bulldogs had a 15-3 record and were the No. 1 seed out of Districts 6 and 7.

"Seattle Christian and Cashmere have a past history meeting yearly from 1998-2006. These meetings however were only friendly and never in a tournament setting," Tronson said.

The first match started out rough for the Bulldogs when they gave up a goal in the fourth minute when the defenders had some miscommunication. The girls countered with a great kick by Dani Morseman in the 11th minute but the Warrior goalkeeper laid out and tipped the ball over the bar to avoid the goal.

The match continued as a rain storm fell over the stadium making the field unpredictable. The Bulldogs used the first half of the match to adjust to the turf and wet conditions.

The Warriors cracked through the Cashmere defense once again in the 29th minute for their second goal.

"This occurred after a hard contact with keeper Zelia Zahir as she came out on a ball in the 25th minute. Then in the 36th minute Zelia Zahir would again be taken out by one of the Seattle Christian forwards. Neither time after these hard contacts were cautions issued to the Warrior players," Tronson said.

The first half ended with the Bulldogs trailing behind 2-0.

After a few halftime adjustments were made, the Bulldogs moved on the attack during the first 20 minutes to try and close the 2-0 gap. Lauren Johnson and Tianna Helm both made shots at the goal but they were pushed wide by the opposing goal keeper.

In the 62nd minute, the Warriors took a ball away in the middle of the field and sent it through the defense. Tronson said the girls thought Seattle Christian was offsides but a call was not made and the Warrior player was able to play the ball by the injured Zahir's outstretched hands.

"With her injury she was forced to limp off the field and be replaced by freshman keeper Aiden Darlington for the remaining 18 minutes," Tronson said.

The Bulldogs continued to fight, but another goal was made by the Warriors in the 72nd minute to end the game 4-0. Tronson said the bright side to the loss was the girls finished the match with all five freshman on the field during the last five minutes.

At the end of the match, Zahir was presented the Sportsmanship Award for her performance during the match.

On Nov. 17, the girls played in the consolation match for third and fourth place against Kings High School.

The weather was much nicer for the second game as there was no rain. The Bulldogs once again were scored upon early in the game as Kings knocked their first goal in during the second minute. Tronson said, from this point forward, the Bulldogs continued to battle and create chances as Helm took control of the midfield.

The first half ended with the girls behind 1-0.

The girls came out in the second half on the attack but the Kings goalkeeper stopped a possible tying goal in the 52nd minute. Kings struck again on a free kick from 28-yards out for a 2-0 lead.

Zahir returned to goal for the match but was limited in her movement due to her injury. The Bulldogs went in for a goal in the 71st minute when Johnson bounced the ball off her shin but the ball barely missed the net leaving the final score 2-0.

The Knights outshot the Bulldogs 10-6. Zahir notched two saves in the match. Helm was awarded the Sportsmanship Award.

The Bulldogs will return next season with over 20 players who have State Tournament experience. Tronson said the girls look forward to the task on returning to State next season for the third year in a row.

"The girls I feel have learned valuable lessons on how to play in the State Tournament and the adjustments that must be made to playing on field turf in the rain," Tronson said. "The students, parents, former players and fans of the Bulldogs outnumbered all the school support during the tournament. We as staff feel blessed we have such great interested in soccer in Cashmere."

This season ended with the Bulldogs taking home the fourth place trophy. This would be the fifth placing in the State Tournament, three times at the 1A level and twice at the 2A level.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com.





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