The Spartans have been knocked out of the state playoffs the last three years by the Papermakers. They won the title game 2-1 to become the fifth big school with five state titles.
PUYALLUP — The moment the Class 4A state girls soccer bracket was revealed, there was an echoing chorus: “Where’s Camas?”
The Skyline High School girls soccer team wanted another shot at the program that had eliminated them from state three years in a row.
On Saturday night, the underdog Spartans got their shot.
Senior forward Saskia Slater cooked up a pair of goals and Bella Calvert Lee provided a herculean defensive effort on Camas star Maddie Kemp as Skyline rallied from down a goal for a 2-1 triumph over the Papermakers (19-3-0) in the state championship match at Sparks Stadium.
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“We knew the last couple of years that they’d beaten us, and we’ve been waiting all season to play them and prove ourselves,” said Slater, whose team fell to Camas 4-1 in last season’s quarterfinals. “We really wanted to prove ourselves to everybody. It was all of us together, and I was just in the right place at the right time.
“There was a lot of motivation to beat them. We knew every game we’d play them, there was something we could’ve done better. We just wanted to get back (at them) and make our statement.”
Slater, who has eight goals this season, scored her second of the match to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute. Slater slotted the ball into the open right corner after a nice pass from Calvert Lee freed her up on the left side.
Skyline, once 4-6-1 this season, dug deep and finished on a 11-1-0 run to cap the school’s fifth state championship, tying four other schools for most among big schools (4A, 3A).
“We had to take a close look at who we wanted to become earlier in the season,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “They stuck with us and worked their tails off and learned how to play as group. This is a season that could’ve gone off the rails at any moment in the middle of season.”
Kemp, a Gonzaga commit, was the biggest concern for the Spartans, and Calvert Lee led a tough defensive effort that shut out the Papermakers top scorer. Kemp entered the match with 53 goals this season and 141 in her illustrious career.
“We’ve seen Camas a lot before, and we know she’s a talented player, but honestly going into this game, we just focused on ourselves,” said Calvert Lee, who fought through torn quadriceps and hamstring injuries on her right leg to play late in the season. “We just wanted to see what we could bring out, knowing that we were the underdog. We wanted to come out and give everything we had.”
Braman appreciated Calvert Lee’s effort.
“She’s a bulldog,” he said. “She’s clearly our best straight-up defender. She’s happy to keep working and keep working. She’s a kid who plays with so much heart.”
Camas took a 1-0 lead on Jazzlyn Paulson’s 10-yard shot into the far left corner of the net on a pass from Callie Rheaume in the 36th minute.
Skyline had a quick response, tying the match at 1-1 in the 39th minute on Slater’s rebound goal through a crowd in front of the goal.
Megan Robertson’s sliding 12-yard shot inside the far left post in the 75th minute lifted Central Valley (18-2-1) to a 3-2 victory against Issaquah in the third/fourth-place game.
Issaquah (13-3-2), the defending Class 4A state champions, settled for fourth place in a rematch of last season’s state-title match.