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Mt Spokane's Amanda Bergstrom hops over Southridge's Haley Thomas in a battle for the ball on Tuesday. (Tyler Tjomsland)

Wildcats dim Suns

Kamiakin up next with State 3A semis on line

The Mt. Spokane girls soccer team has come a long way this year, so what’s another trip to Kennewick?

Just about everything, actually.

After routing Southridge 3-0 on Tuesday night, the Wildcats are just one win away from a return to the semifinals of the State 3A tournament. A win at Kamiakin on Saturday will do the trick.

“Our ultimate goal at the beginning of the season was to go back,” said Mt. Spokane coach Ryan Campanella, whose team reached the finals last year. “That was so much fun that we want to go back.”

On a chilly night at Spokane Falls Community College, the Wildcats (13-5) showed why, winning their sixth match in their last seven with a dominant defensive performance. Southridge got off just seven shots and had few serious threats. “If you saw our defense at the beginning of the season, it didn’t look like that at all,” said Campanella, citing injuries and the need to adjust personnel for matchups against different opponents.

“I feel really fortunate to have so many girls who can step up,” said Campanella, adding that fullback Brittney Sanders has been a key contributor.

The Wildcats got on the board in the fourth minute against Southridge, as forward Maddy Boyd struck from about 20 yards out after a pass from Mackenzi Gray.

Mt. Spokane dominated the second half, getting its second goal 10 minutes after halftime on a long shot from Whitney Weaver. Eight minutes later, Sierra Bezdicek scored the clincher from the left side off a deflection, hitting a deceptively tough shot that Southridge keeper Tiara Valadez couldn’t handle.

For good measure, Mt. Spokane keeper Shannon McReynolds saved a penalty kick with 5 minutes left to preserve her fourth shutout in five games.

“I just knew I needed to keep my head and not overthink it, to keep my cool,” McReynolds said.

That attitude will come in handy on Saturday at Lampson Field in Kennewick, where regional champ Kamiakin awaits.

In last weekend’s regional title match, Mt. Spokane led late in the game, only to give up a late goal and eventually lose in overtime.

“I’m hoping to just take it back to them,” Boyd said.