WENATCHEE, WA – Cascade used four goals by senior forward Ashley Parton to down Kiona-Benton (Ki-Be) 6-2 Wednesday in the first round of the WIAA State 1A Soccer Tournament. The Kodiak win means a quarterfinal match with Overlake Saturday.
Alexa Rodgers got Cascade on the board first 8-minutes into the first half on a boot from 20-yards out after a nice, centering pass from Emily Gaines. Ki-Be quickly countered with a goal by sophomore Ariel Lofton in the 15th minute. Parton’s first goal would come 6-minutes later and would give the Kodiaks a lead they would never surrender. Addie Estell would help Cascade gain a 3-1 advantage heading into the break with a goal in the 24th minute.
Coach Glen Stefanko said he adjusted his team’s defense in the first half, which kind of put the girls off a little. “I changed up the defensive line and the formation, but we were able to work that all out at halftime. We had one little blip on the radar when Devan (Archer) came out and we got a little ball-watchy. But for the most part, the girls played really well and we’ll be able to have some really solid discussions about where to go from here,” said Stefanko.
Cascade started the second half off with Ashley Parton’s 2nd goal of the game in the 49th minute to make it 4-1. But the Bears countered 2-minutes later on Lofton’s second goal of the game. But that would be as close as Kiona-Benton could get as Parton added two more goals down the stretch to give the Kodiaks a 6-2 margin of victory.
Parton says they had an advantage of playing Ki-Be for the second time this season. “We knew that when we came into this game it was going to be tough because its the first round and really anyone’s gonna take it. But we knew them (Bears) because we played them in pre-season so we knew they had one really fast girl and that they were super-physical so we had to look through that and play our game,” said Parton.
Saturday’s location for Cascade’s quarterfinal game with Overlake is yet to be announced, but would be either at the Apple Bowl or on the Kodiak’s home field in Leavenworth. Either way, Coach Stefanko said they’ll be ready. “Chances are good we could play on the grass (in Leavenworth). I was there today, just before I got here, and actually the grass held up really well. It was solid. There wasn’t any mud at all. Looking forward to it. If we could play on the grass, we will. It will be the last opportunity we’d have for these seniors on their home field and I’m sure they would enjoy it.” But if the Apple Bowl is the location, Stefanko said it won’t matter, “we’re up for the task and what a great place, a great venue, a great spot, and we’ll be up to the task.”
Parton says after a fourth place finish at State last year and 2nd place finish in 2016, her team’s goal is to get back again, which starts in the quarterfinals Saturday against Overlake. “Winner goes to final four. That’s our goal is to play as hard as we can every game, leave it all out on the field even if we don’t come out with a win to just know that we did play good and played as a team.” Parton added, “…me being a senior and having four others on the team, that’s one of our goals since our freshman year…getting a ring (championship) would be the best thing ever.”