Eatonville’s Mary Van Eaton secures a pass from a teammate in a match against W.F. West. Van Eaton would score the only goal in the Cruisers' 1-0 victory over Yelm.
In a thrilling matchup last week, the Eatonville High School girls soccer team emerged victorious with a 1-0 win over the formidable 3A classification Yelm Tornados.
The game took place on their home turf, where the Cruisers continued their impressive undefeated streak, now boasting a record of 3-0-1 for the season. McCandless, the stalwart in goal, recorded a crucial shutout for the Cruisers.
Interim head coach Machaela Swartout was elated to be back with the girls and leading them to another impressive victory.
“It was a fun night being back with the girls — I missed coaching them. They are a fiery group with some of the most depth I've had the privilege to coach. There were many players who got playing time last night in a close-fought game,” Swartout said.
The game remained locked in a tense 0-0 tie throughout the match, with both teams creating opportunities. However, in the final five minutes, the Cruisers began to apply pressure. A pivotal moment came when they received a free kick from approximately 25 yards out. Haley Courson stepped up and nearly found the back of the net with her powerful kick, leading to a corner in the remaining seconds of the game.
Courson's corner kick was a thing of beauty, appearing as though it might find the net directly. Although it was initially cleared by the Yelm defense, Davy Olson made a play by redirecting the ball back toward the middle. Mary Van Eaton seized the opportunity, taking a touch and sending a precise, low-driven shot through traffic, ultimately finding the back of the net. Olson was credited with the assist for her crucial involvement in the play.
"It was a really fun team win, and the coaching staff is excited to see what this group can do,” said Swartout.
Eatonville would end the week on a down note as the Cruisers experienced their first setback of the season with a close 1-0 loss to W.F. West on Saturday, dropping them to 3-1-1 on the young season.
"Tough, but close game. I felt like we had lots of momentum and just tried to force it offensively. We dropped a goal in the second half but fought hard until the end and gave ourselves opportunities to score. The girls are showing tremendous growth in such a short time. The coaches and I are very excited to see what they accomplish this year. We have a deep team, and all players from the starting 11 through the bench provide lots of strength for our team,” Swartout said.
Next up, the Lady Cruisers are set to open 1A Evergreen League play as they face Montesano on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at Jack Rottle Field in Montesano. The team's dedicated fans eagerly await to see them continue their journey and aim for more victories in the upcoming league games.