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Mt. Spokane wins state soccer opener

Finally, the Mt. Spokane girls soccer team is tournament-tested, and that’s a good thing, coach Ryan Campanella said.

“It was a little rough out there, but the girls pushed through it,” Campanella said after the unbeaten Wildcats outlasted Enumclaw 2-1 in a first-round State 3A game Tuesday night at Spokane Falls Community College.

It wasn’t easy. On the same field where the Wildcats defeated Kennewick 11-0 in a regional match one week earlier, they were clinging to a one-goal lead with Enumclaw on a breakaway with 3 minutes left.

Goalkeeper Shannon McReynolds came out to challenge the Hornets’ Jessica Snoen, who shot and hit the crossbar.

“I figured if I timed it right, I could narrow down the angle,” McReynolds said. “I forced her to go high and it wound up going where I wanted it to go.”

Mt. Spokane (18-0) is also going where it wants to – home for a quarterfinal match on Saturday.

“And more amazing support from all the fans,” McReynolds said.

The Wildcats, winners of Greater Spokane League, district and regional titles, will face either Kamiakin or Mercer Island at a site to be determined, Campanella said.

Mt. Spokane dominated the first half, but didn’t break through until Carly Frank scored in the 19th minute on a diagonal shot across the goalmouth.

“You could tell that released some of the pressure on the girls, and let them play a little looser,” Campanella said.

Three minutes later, junior midfielder Sierra Bezdicek scored the eventual winner on a breakaway down the right side.

“We really had the lion’s share of the attack in the first half,” Campanella said.

But Enumclaw (12-6-1) rallied during first-half injury time on a breakaway by Katie Christensen, only the third goal conceded by Mt. Spokane in its past 10 matches.

The Hornets had several chances in the second half even though Mr. Spokane still had the better of the possession time.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Campanella said. “But it does get us closer to our true ambition, the final four.”