West Valley soccer team exits early but shows fight at district

This fall was a rebuilding year for the Rams, who are often playing alongside the state’s elite 4A teams at the end of the season.

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But despite the program’s youth there were a number of positive for head coach Jason Timm. After starting 1-5, the Rams won two games in a row in early October, beating Sunnyside 4-1 and Davis 2-1.

West Valley played the league’s top teams — Eastmont, Wenatchee and Moses Lake — tougher the second time through the schedule and ended up qualifying for district as the No. 5 seed. A second straight loss to Davis, this time in the CBBN quarterfinals, put a cap on the season, however.

Junior midfielder Gracie Brownell was named to the all-conference first team, while seniors Shannon Curtis, Katelynn Moen and Taylor Copeland earned second team honors. Senior Anna Murphy was an honorable mention selection, and senior midfielder Iza Juarez provided strong leadership in the starting lineup. Senior goalkeeper Tai Brennan also was stabilizing force before she was lost to injury late in the season.

Next year’s team will be led by Brownell, juniors Izzy Roberts and Paige Kennedy, sophomore Mackenzie Kitt and freshman Ashlyn Valdovinos.

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For the second year in a row, the CBBN did not have a representative from the Yakima Valley at the Class 4A girls soccer state tournament.

CBBN soccerPerennial powerhouse West Valley — which reached the district title game last season but was denied a state berth because the league was allotted only one berth — ended up falling to cross-town rival Davis in the CBBN quarterfinals this fall. The Rams finished 5-7 in league play and 5-10 overall.

Davis showed tremendous improvement this fall, earning the league’s No. 4 seed and hosting their first district tournament game in four years and defeating West Valley 3-1 on Nov. 5. But the Pirates ended up coming up just short of advancing to the league’s final state play-in game, losing to Moses Lake 3-2 in penalty kicks. Davis finished at 7-5 in league and 9-9 overall.

The league’s third Yakima Valley representative, Eisenhower, also made strides this season, winning a pair of league games — one over rival Davis on Oct. 12 — to finish at 2-10 in league and 4-13 overall.

Eastmont won its second consecutive district title with a 2-1 win over Wenatchee. The Panthers claimed the league’s second 4A state berth with a 2-1 win over Moses Lake on Nov. 9.