Girls soccer: Union finds its way through the fog

It was difficult to see the match Wednesday with all the fog at McKenzie Stadium, but the Union Titans found their way to a victory over Lake Stevens to advance to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Photo by Paul Valencia
It was difficult to see the match Wednesday with all the fog at McKenzie Stadium, but the Union Titans found their way to a victory over Lake Stevens to advance to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Photo by Paul Valencia

Titans advance to 4A state quarterfinals; Columbia River and Hockinson advance in 2A

VANCOUVER — She got kicked in the face.

Her back got tight.

It was rough at times. 

All worth it, though. All worth it.

By the end of the night, she had an ice pack to her cheek and a smile that lit up McKenzie Stadium.

Hey, that was no easy task, either, with so much fog.

Union goalkeeper Taylor Tinnog had an incredible save in the final moments of regulation to preserve the tie, and the Titans would eventually go on to beat Lake Stevens in penalty kicks in a Class 4A state girls soccer playoff match. Photo by Paul Valencia
Union goalkeeper Taylor Tinnog had an incredible save in the final moments of regulation to preserve the tie, and the Titans would eventually go on to beat Lake Stevens in penalty kicks in a Class 4A state girls soccer playoff match. Photo by Paul Valencia

It became clear Wednesday that no one was going to score on Union goalkeeper Taylor Tinnon in the first round of the Class 4A state girls soccer playoffs.

In a scoreless tie in the final minutes of regulation, Lake Stevens got a breakaway. Forward vs. keeper. The match was on the line.

“That one was kind of scary,” Tinnon said. “ As soon as you see that person break that line, it’s kind of just like, OK, it’s just me. It’s straight focus mode. You don’t hear anybody. You don’t see anybody. It’s me and that other player. It’s a reaction thing. I work on that thing every day.”

Tinnon made the save. And considering the stakes, it was the save of the season.

The two teams would remain scoreless through regulation, through overtime, before the Titans topped Lake Stevens in penalty kicks. 

“We work on PKs every day,” Tinnon said. “In that moment, it’s everything.”

Abbey Kaip’s strike got past the Lake Stevens keeper for a 4-3 advantage in the kicks, and Union had survived.

Union will travel to face Inglemoor in the quarterfinals. The match is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. 

“We are a family. We are more than a team. We are best friends on and off the field,” Tinnon said. “We want this so bad. We work for it every day. Every day we say, ‘We’re not done. We’re not done.’”

Nope, not done. 

Union still has work to do. 

Three other Clark County teams played in their opening round matches Wednesday.

And the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League flexed its muscles again.

Columbia River, which has reached the final four in each of the past three seasons, took another step toward another final weekend appearance with a 1-0 road victory over Fife. 

The Chieftains will be on the road for the quarterfinals, too, against Liberty.

And Hockinson, the No. 3 seed from the 2A GSHL, is in the elite eight as well. The Hawks won a road match against Cedarcrest, winning 1-0 on a late goal by Brooke Grosz. Hockinson will travel to face White River in the quarterfinals.

With Ridgefield’s victory on Tuesday, the 2A GSHL has three teams in the final eight in Class 2A. 

King’s beat La Center 4-0 in a 1A matchup. While the result did not go their way, the Wildcats will still remember making it to state. It was the program’s first appearance since 2014. The Wildcats will also recall their sendoff. Students lined the hallways Wednesday morning to shout support as the team was leaving the school, and then the Wildcats got a police escort through town. 

In all, five teams have advanced to the quarterfinals: Mountain View won its 3A match Tuesday to join Union, and the three 2A GSHL teams. 

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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