One of the greatest high school girls soccer seasons in Lewis County history came to an end with Adna taking home second place and Toledo securing the fourth place trophy at the 1B/2B state tournament.
Adna, playing in its first-ever state championship after six consecutive exits in the state semifinals, lost to Kalama, 1-0 (7-6), following a dramatic nine rounds of penalty kicks, while Toledo claimed its first-ever state placing after losing to Highland, 2-1 (6-5), in PKs at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner on November 20.
It marks the best finishes ever for each program.
“I couldn’t be more proud of both teams,” said Adna coach Horst Malunat, who teaches at Toledo and coached the Riverhawks for 13 seasons before becoming the Pirates head coach in 2020.
A day before claiming their hardware, Adna and Toledo met in a thrilling state semifinals matchup, with the Pirates edging the Riverhawks in penalty kicks (5-4) following a scoreless regulation and two 5-minute overtime periods.
The victory ended a seven-year state semifinal playoff drought for Adna, which had dropped six straight semifinal matches dating back to 2014.
“We finally broke the curse,” said Adna senior Madi Stark, who became the fifth Pirate to successfully convert a penalty kick to give her squad the victory. “It just wasn’t in the stars for us to win those other (state semifinal) games. But today felt different. When we were going into PKs, I just smiled at (goalkeeper) Macy (Kalnoski) because I knew we could do this.”
The stadium in Sumner had long been a scene of heartbreak for Adna as the Pirates had dropped four straight one-goal state semifinal contests, but like Stark said, this time was different.
“This team had pushed it to the edge of the envelope so many times (in the state semifinals),” Malunat said, “but we never could win this game.”
After missing on their first PK, the Pirates connected on its next five, even getting one from Kalnoski, who turned away two shots by the Riverhawks to help Adna notch the history-making victory.
“Whatever frustrations I have (during PKs) since I am in kicking lineup, I can put it right back in the net, and that’s what I tried to do tonight,” said Kalnoski about her successful penalty kick. “We do PKs every day at practice, and I know I can’t stop every ball, but I had faith in our girls.”
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the team was unable to parlay their semifinal success into a state title after dropping a marathon nine-round penalty kick session to No. 2 Kalama (18-2). It was the third meeting between the two schools this season, with the Chinooks also posting wins during the regular season and in the district tournament championship.
“We had a lot of adversity this season. We had to overcome a lot of things to get here,” said Malunat, whose squad returned from COVID protocol just in time for the district tournament. “For me, my father passed away in May, and coaching has helped me deal with that. My dad was the one who gave the game of soccer to me, and it’s been really touching to have the team dedicate the season to him.”
Another state semifinal appearance seemed farfetched during the season’s early stages as the Pirates (12-6) opened the year 0-4 before righting the ship and winning nine straight, outscoring opponents a combined 51-1 during the winning streak.
“We have a great group of seniors,” Kalnoski said about the team’s turnaround. “We’ve all played together for so long. I feel like we’re more of a family around here than we are teammates.”
Adna, which defeated Cle-Elum-Roslyn, 1-0 in the first round, advanced to the state semifinals after dispatching No. 1 Okanogan, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. The Pirates raced out to a fast 3-0 lead against the Bulldogs, getting goals from Presley Smith, Zarine Walker and Kaylin Todd to end Okanogan’s 11-match winning streak.
While Adna had a lengthy history of state playoff victories, Toledo entered their year’s tournament winless in six previous state playoff games, even being held scoreless in five of those matches.
After notching the program’s first-ever state playoff win in a 1-0 triumph over Friday Harbor in the opening round, Toledo secured its first-ever state semifinal appearance by rallying from a two-goal deficit to put away No. 4 Mount Vernon, 3-2. The Riverhawks received goals from Marina Smith, Rose Dillon and Vanesa Rodriguez, who knocked in the overtime game winner off an assist from Smith.
Marina Smith, the Central League South Division offensive MVP, capped her stellar senior campaign by scoring a school-record 30 goals for Toledo. The Riverhawks also had first-team all-league South Division selections in midfielder Dillon, and second-team picks in keeper Daphnie Bybee
Presley Smith was named the Central League North Division MVP, while teammate Madi Stark was named the league’s defensive MVP. Stark also was joined by Kaylin Todd (forward), Macy Kalnoski (keeper), Summer White (forward), Faith Wellander (midfielder) and Karlee Von Moos (defender) on the North Division’s first-team all-league, while Malunat was named the division’s coach of the year.