Eatonville's Haley Courson (7) weaves her way past Adna defenders in the Cruisers' 2-1 win.
In a thrilling matchup, the Eatonville Cruisers girls’ soccer team secured its first victory of the season, and it was a historic moment for new coach Eric Burkevics, marking his maiden win in his high school coaching career.
The game, which ended in a 2-1 victory over the Adna Pirates, was a rollercoaster ride that showcased the resilience and adaptability of the Cruisers.
The match began with a slow and somewhat disorganized start, but the Cruisers quickly found their footing when Haley Courson netted the first goal in the ninth minute, thanks to an assist from Kennedy Noble.
"We had to make some changes early and get some players focused on the task at hand,” said Burkevics.
Fortunately, the team rallied and dominated the game, with Kennedy Noble assisting Courson once again in the 58th minute to establish a commanding 2-0 lead.
Defensively, the team showcased their strength, with standout performances from captain Ryan Stammen, who continued to excel in her role. Notably, sophomore Hadley Noble displayed remarkable adaptability by learning a new position at outside back and holding her own on the field. In goalkeeping duties, freshman Savannah McCandless kept her impressive streak alive with a clean sheet in the first half, making four crucial saves.
In the second half, Junior Tierny Amaral took over as keeper and also recorded four saves. However, a bit of misfortune resulted in an own goal in the 77th minute, allowing the Pirates to score their lone goal.
"It was a lesson learned, and we will move forward,” Burkevics said.
He emphasized the need for the girls to stay focused and motivated as they prepared for their upcoming matchup with Onalaska. The coach's hard work, dedication, and commitment, including earning his National US Soccer D License over the summer, had finally paid off with this historic victory.
The Cruisers' season had kicked off with another memorable game earlier in the week, a 0-0 win against Napavine, which showcased their competitive spirit and defensive prowess. Captain Ryan Stammen continued to shine on the defensive front, while freshman keeper Savannah McCandless impressed with seven saves and a clean sheet. The team was eager to find their offensive rhythm, with players like Hannah Hanson and Haley Courson showing promise in the attack.
The Eatonville Cruisers had not only secured their first win of the season but had also marked the beginning of a promising journey under Coach Eric Burkevics, leaving fans and supporters eager to see what the future held for this talented team.
The Cruisers held their only game this week on Tuesday at home against Onalaska. Results of that game were not available at press time.