Whitney Lowe’s pass was perfectly placed, losing momentum 15 yards directly in front of the W.F. West goal.
It looked as if the pass would be for nothing, however, as the Bearcats’ defense had an eye on the ball.
But Joslin Lindsay outraced everyone before powering off a shot, which ricocheted off the right post and into the net.
Credit Lindsay’s superior speed for sparking Black Hills in a big second half, scoring a goal and assisting on another, to lift the Wolves over the Bearcats, 2-0, in the opening round of the District IV 2A girls soccer tournament Saturday at Tumwater District Stadium.
Alli Thompson broke the scoreless tie for the Wolves with her goal in he 52nd minute, while CeCe Noyen picked up the shutout in goal.
“There were some playoff nerves in the first half,” Black Hills coach Allen Anderson said. “Plus this was the third time facing W.F. West. They are a fast, physical team that puts a lot of pressure on you. We did a much better job in the second half of forcing the style of play we wanted.”
Black Hills, which posted a 12-0-0 mark in 2A Evergreen Conference play, improved to 15-1-1 overall. The Wolves will host Hockinson, a 4-2 winner over Capital, in one semifinal match on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
W.F. West, the fifth seed out of the EvCo, drops to 5-10-1 overall and will face Capital in a loser-out match on Tuesday (time TBA).
The top three finishers at the district tournament advance to state.
The story of the scoreless first half was Bearcats freshman goalkeeper Kyndra Haller.
Usually a forward, Haller stepped in for regular starter Arianne Woodland and was able to keep the high-scoring Black Hills offense off the scoreboard for the opening 40 minutes.
As the windy conditions increased, so did the scoring chances for Black Hills.
Minutes after stonewalling a Lowe free kick from 25 yards out, Haller came up with the defensive stop of the first half as she was able to poke away Thompson’s shot at the last second from 10 yards out — one of several impressive stops for Haller in the first half.
W.F. West increased the tempo and attempted to apply more pressure on offense at the start of the second half, but Black Hills struck first on Thompson’s goal.
The Wolves made it 2-0 on Lindsay’s goal in the 67th minute.
Lindsay, assisted by Lowe, relied on pure speed to get behind the Bearcats’ defense and run down Lowe’s pass.
Haller originally came out of the box in an attempt to secure the loose ball, but Lindsay got there first, powering a low shot to the right that bounced off the post into the net to produce the two-goal lead.
“The shot felt great, but once I saw it hit the post I was a little worried it wasn’t going to go in,” Lindsay said. “I just watched and thought, ‘Keep rolling, keep rolling.’ It was a big relief once the ball finally crossed the line. I wasn’t so sure it was going to do that.”
Mark Morris 3, Tumwater 1: The Monarchs jumped out to a 2-0 lead 12 minutes into the match before advancing to the semifinals with a victory over the Thunderbirds at Tumwater District Stadium.
The Monarchs, runners-up of the 2A Greater Saint Helens League, got goals from Bethany Simmons in the fifth minute, Shelby Stanwood in the 12th minute and Courtney Warner in the 33rd minute to grab a 3-0 advantage at the half.
Hailey Sanne’s goal in the 61st minute was the only offense Tumwater could muster.
Mark Morris (12-4-0) advances to play Ridgefield, a 3-1 winner over Aberdeen, on Tuesday (time TBA) while the Thunderbirds (10-7-0) play the Bobcats in a loser-out game Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Hockinson 4, Capital 2: The Cougars (10-6-1) fall into the consolation bracket of the 2A District IV tournament, and face W.F. West (time TBD) Tuesday, as the Hawks led 2-1 at halftime on Rylee Seekins' first-half goals.