Home USA News District football report: Auburn Riverside defeated Peninsula

District football report: Auburn Riverside defeated Peninsula


Auburn Riverside forward Samiah Shell lifts the 3A West Central/Southwest bi District championship trophy surrounded by teammates after the Ravens' 2-0 win over Peninsula on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash.

Auburn Riverside forward Samiah Shell lifts the 3A West Central/Southwest bi District championship trophy surrounded by teammates after the Ravens’ 2-0 win over Peninsula on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash.

Pete Custer/The News Tribune

Samia Schell flew down the far left side of the field, beat her defender, lifted her head and put the ball into the box in the opening minutes of Auburn Riverside’s 3A West Central/Southwest Bi-District championship game against Peninsula at Mount Tahoma High School on Thursday night.

It looked like an attempted cross – a high, arcing ball flying across goal – but he never found a team-mate. Instead, it flew past the keeper’s outstretched arm into the top right corner of the goal and into the side netting. The goal.

The Auburn Riverside players ran over to the Shell from the left wing, jumping and celebrating the stunning score. So was it a cross or a shot?

“I honestly wanted to pull it off,” said Schell, a UW commit and the program’s career leading scorer. “Sometimes it’s a cross, but I was shooting trying to aim for the bottom back post. It ended up just hitting the outside of my foot, going up and curling up.”

We will take her word for it. The day before, Schell and her teammates worked on similar backhand shots in practice.

“I noticed there was no one in the box,” Schell said. “It was such a high speed game.”

Earl Auburn Riverside coach Paul Lewis is among those who felt it was a cross-court effort at first glance.

“Cross shot, give it a chance,” Lewis said.

They needed a chance. After Auburn Riverside grabbed the early momentum in a rain-soaked game, the Ravens didn’t give it back, controlling the action throughout the game and limiting Peninsula’s chances for a 2-0 victory.

“It caused a little hunger,” Lewis said. “Sometimes when you play games where you don’t get on the board early, it kind of lags, lags, lags and slows us down a little bit. It seems like when we get an early score it tends to motivate us.

“The next 10 or 15 minutes we were able to apply a lot of pressure, taking that momentum and enthusiasm. It was a big deal, we talked about trying to score even earlier.”

Auburn Riverside scored an insurance goal in the 64th minute off a corner kick. The ball bounced to the feet of Emma Walecko, who put it in from close range to seal the victory.

“Right as I was about to take the corner, I heard Lewis yell, ‘Emma, ​​act like you want it!'” Walecka said. “So I was there and it went right over my head and it just bounced off and I smashed it as hard as I could to get it into the goal.”

Auburn Riverside hasn’t conceded a goal in three games in the bi-district tournament, thanks to an organized back line and talented junior goalkeeper Rory Murray.

“They all work really well together and there’s no stress or doubt that they’re going to try, put their bodies on the line, sacrifice themselves to make sure the ball doesn’t go into our net,” Schell said. . “Rory will put himself on the line.”

Auburn Riverside enters the state tournament with a 17-1 record and is considered one of the top seeds in the tournament.

“I’m very excited,” Schell said. “Especially for us too because it’s our last year. To make it count, especially with this group of girls that we all consider family, it’s been a really big journey. I’m glad we’re all going strong.”


Curtis upset a pair of league rivals en route to the District 3/4 title game Thursday night, but lost to Camas at Ingersoll Stadium after a scoreless tie that went to penalty kicks.

A defensive battle led by Curtis’ back line — and a crucial late save by Vikings keeper Shalia Dupar — prevented any Papermaker offense for 80-plus minutes. Camas won the ensuing shootout 4-3 to secure the district title.

“Our back line is just not working right now,” Curtis coach Frank Hankel said.

However, the Vikings are headed to state, which begins Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup for the 3A and 4A classifications.

No. 7 Curtis defeated second-seeded Tahoma 1-0 in the first round of the district tournament on Oct. 29 to clinch a state berth. Then three days later there was a 2-1 upset of third-placed Olympia in the district semi-finals.

“Last week we beat Sumner, we beat Tahoma and we beat Olympia. And that’s all the top 10 teams, according to RPI,” Hankel said. “These girls are playing top 10 RPI teams in the state right now. Ideally, I hope it turns into single digits for the girls, because they deserve it.”


The T-Birds and Rapids last met in the District 4 2A championship in 2016, with Columbia River winning 2-1.

Although the score remained the same, it was Tumwater who claimed the district crown thanks to their fast-paced attack and quick-adjustment defence.

“Our last game against Ridgefield, we got into situations where we didn’t communicate,” coach Brett Bartlett said. “We solved these problems, and then we understood what to do. That was critical because we made the adjustments that helped us win that game. Good to see it coming from this teachable group, like fixing it on the fly. This is how children take care of the family; they take ownership, it’s their job, and it’s important to them.”

Columbia River got on the scoreboard first in the 25th minute when junior Paige Johnson scored the first goal. However, one of the T-Bird’s greatest strengths is that they are great on the counter. And cons, they did.

With the Rapids possessing the ball deep on the Tumwater side of the field, the T-Birds converted a free kick by sophomore Emalyn Shafer. With her speed, Schafer was able to take on almost the entire Rapid defense and put in an accurate shot on goal. The goal came in the 32nd minute after the Columbia River goalkeeper’s arm was ripped off the top of the net.

Tumwater’s other goal had Shaffer’s marks again, but this time in a different way. The Rapids took a corner kick which was again scored by the T-Birds. With so many Columbia River players, Schafer was again able to get a good shot on goal.

When the defense turned to Schafer, sophomore Ava Jones was in the right place at the right time. Shaffer’s shot deflected off the keeper and allowed Jones to score in the 78th minute.

Jones’ goal sealed the deal and the T-Birds advanced to state as district champions

This story was originally published November 3, 2022 at 10:09 p.m.

John Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and Gonzaga University graduate, Manley has been lighting up the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

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