BRUSH PRAIRIE — Mark Morris coach Eric Maxey can’t remember the last time the Monarchs beat Hockinson. It’s been awhile.
Except the Monarchs did just that Tuesday night, a 2-0 victory in the Southwest 2A District Tournament thanks in large part to goalkeeper Aunika Rodman’s 11 saves.
The victory assures Mark Morris a seat at the state tournament for the first time in 10 years, but the Monarchs will also play for the district crown 6 p.m. Thursday at Columbia River.
“For us to get a win in this game, it’s unbelievable,” Maxey said. “They weren’t going to be denied tonight.”
It’s the Monarchs first victory over Hockinson since 2013, when Jenna Dukovcic netted a late game-winner on Oct. 22. The Hawks have won the 10 meetings since.
On Tuesday, Mark Morris tallied five shots on goal.
Allie Scudder scored in the 27th minute and Heaven Burr scored in the 52nd minute. Hockinson had more than twice the shots on goal, but less success. The Monarchs took advantage of small openings, and got gobs of help from Rodman and the Mark Morris defense.
“It was very difficult. I will say that,” Rodman said. “I think the worst part is just getting injured — not badly, but just getting tackled.”
Adding a secondary challenge into the fold was the wet grass, which made the ball difficult to throw, let alone catch.
“That ball skipping across the turf, you’ve got to focus every second that ball is in flight or it’ll skip by you,” Maxey said. “They were shooting it like that and she just got behind the ball. She got a couple high balls. She’s just on her game and it’s perfect timing for us.”
Burr also had to step her game up. Hockinson is one of thew few teams that has a defender to match her speed. They couldn’t match her intensity.
“I had to figure out whether to cut in, instead of just beating her,” Burr said. “Make a move or something, because she was right with me the whole time.”
The Monarchs haven’t won a state game since 1988, or since before anyone on the team’s roster was born. But confidence is sky-high that the team will change that this season.
“We beat Columbia River this year,” Rodman said, “but beating Hockinson in districts and going on to state, we know what we can do.”
Added Burr: “It feels great; we’ve been wanting this.”
Next up, though, is the district title match.
“We’re going to celebrate this win,” Maxey said. “It’s so nice to have that in our back pocket. We can go out and have fun while we play for that district championship.”