R.A. Long wanted Maddie Wolff near the net for precisely the moment that presented itself 32 minutes into Tuesday’s match with Kelso.
With Maddie Reece taking the corner kick, Wolff slid to the far post, and when the ball lofted just over the outstretched hand of Kelso goalkeeper Makenna Vegh, the junior midfielder headed the ball home with ease. The score helped the Lumberjills to a 2-0 victory at Longview Memorial Stadium.
“I saw a split, and I knew I had to get there,” Wolff said of the play. “It was coming up high, and the goalkeeper had missed it, so I just turned my body to make sure it was going to go in the goal.”
Wolff also scored the insurance goal that put away the match in the 74th minute when she converted a penalty kick. Vegh made five saves, including a pair of beauties in the first half, but the Jills were too much for the Lassies on Tuesday.
R.A. Long put eight shots on frame in the nonleague affair, including Abbie Anderson’s post-ringer in the 23rd minute.
“We seemed like we were panicked in the first 10 minutes,” RAL coach Teresa Aloe said. “But I liked how we settled into the match, especially the end of that first half.”
The Jills found their groove with passing combinations in an attack led by Anderson, a Seattle Pacific University commit, and were threatening often midway through the first 40 minutes.
Sadie Allen got free in the 22nd minute for what looked like a certain goal, but Vegh was privy to the 1-on-1 charge and came up with a fingertip save to keep the game scoreless.
“She really did great,” Kelso coach Kemal Vejo said. “She saved us a couple times.”
Vejo wasn’t pleased with his team in the first 40 minutes and down 1-0, he let them hear it at the break. In a new three-defender formation, the Lassies were looking for a spark to the season that they never found. At times, Kelso controlled the run of play in the second half, but could never truly threaten the Jills’ ninth-grade goalie Maddie Barker, who made three saves.
“We just struggled to control the pace of the game,” Vejo said. “We didn’t pass the ball well and we made a couple mistakes. … R.A. Long wanted it more than us.”
When the Jills’ Kelsey Bern got pulled down in the box late in the game, Wolff was unleashed again to record the security tally and push RAL to 3-0 on the year and drop Kelso to 0-2.