Auburn Riverside tags Tahoma with 1-0 loss | Girls Soccer

It may seem a little early in the season for a must win game, but for the Tahoma and Auburn Riverside girls soccer teams, this past Tuesday’s match at Maxwell Field had all the feel of a postseason contest.

It may seem a little early in the season for a must win game, but for the Tahoma and Auburn Riverside girls soccer teams, this past Tuesday’s match at Maxwell Field had all the feel of a postseason contest.

And although the Ravens were able to eke out a 1-0 victory – courtesy of junior forward Stephanie Horibe’s unassisted goal in the 49th minute – both teams played as though they had something to prove.

For Auburn Riverside (5-0-1), it was all about making their presence again felt in the SPSL 4A after a two-year exile in the SPSL 3A, where they were league champions last season.

For the Bears (3-2-1) it was about bouncing back from a pair of scoreless games, a 1-0 loss to Kentwood on Sept. 25 and a 0-0 deadlock with Kentlake the game prior.

Defensively, the game played out as expected from two teams known for their hermetic defenses.

Coming into the game Tahoma, had given up only two goals in their previous five matches. Auburn Riverside’s defense, centered around junior goalkeeper Gina Cardnenas, was nearly as stalwart, giving up just three goals in their first five contests.

“My game plan was just to try and stay with them and hopefully get the first goal, which always helps a lot,” Tahoma Head Coach Corinne Welch said. “We obviously didn’t do that, but the girls played hard. Our offensive attack didn’t work the way we hoped. But the Ravens had a solid defense.”

According to Auburn Riverside Head Coach Pal Lewis, the defense worked just the way he planned coming in.

“They have one forward, Savannah Johnson who I know from scouting her and the kids know from club soccer, that they run a lot of their offense through her,” Raven Head Coach Paul Lewis said. “She’s the focal point of their offense. So we changed up a little. I had one of our kids Shannon Keith mark her. I changed her up from sweeper to match up with her. And as long as we could control her I knew we would be in good shape.”

Lewis’ plan paid off, forcing both teams to ratchet up the physicality of play as they vied for control.

“I would say historically, that Tahoma is not normally one of those physical teams,” Lewis said. “Normally they have had some real talented players and haven’t had to rely on the physicality. I think part of that just increased with their level of frustration.”

Lewis added that the physical play is just part of the game that his team needs to learn to cope with.

“In the past, if you’re physical with us, it tended to take us out of the game,” he said. “But I’ve been talking to the kids and working with them on fighting through that.”

The two teams will meet again at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Auburn Memorial Stadium.

“It feels good to be back (in the SPSL 4A),” Lewis said. “I know the kids have been really looking forward to it.”

According to Welch, who said her team will be working on “simple things” like ball control in practice this week, the return of the Ravens to the SPSL 4A is a welcome addition, despite being on the losing end of their first meeting.

“The SPSL has always been a competitive league,” Welch said. “And that’s good. That competition only makes us stronger during the regular season, which helps us in the postseason, the districts and hopefully at state.”

ALSO: The Auburn Mountainview Lions (5-2-1) were defeated 2-1 at home by SPSL 3A rivals Sumner this past Tuesday. Sydney Coleman scored the Lions’ sole goal at the 33-minute mark with an assist by Kristin Herren. …

The Auburn Trojans (2-4-1) put a 15-0 hurting on the winless Kent Meridian Royals (0-6-0)this past Tuesday at Auburn Memorial Stadium. The Trojans were led by Kristen Dick and Ali Lundberg who both notched a hat trick with three goals apiece. Dick also had two assists. Jenna Henry, Emily Jameson and Alyssa Wall each scored two goals apiece and Micheal Paulston, Mariso Sanchezllanes, Jennsyn Chaney and Taylor Blaze all added a goal each. Jennsyn Chaney, Lundberg and Jameson all combined for the shutout between the pipes. … The Jefferson Raiders (2-3-2) deadlocked with district rival Federal Way (2-3-1) 1-1 this past Tuesday. Kenna Friedman scored the Raiders’ lone goal with an assist from Jasmine Sharpe. … The Kentwood Conquerors (6-0-0) kept their record perfect with a 1-0 victory over Kentlake this past Thursday at French Field. Chelsi Pennington scored in the 45th minute of the contest on an assist from Lauren Scully. Courtney Johnson and Megan Walburn shared the shutout in goal.

Shawn Skager can be reached at 253-833-0218 ext. 5054 or at