ILWACO — Castle Rock scored three goals in the final 25 minutes to beat Ilwaco 4-1 in the Saturday, Sept. 14 soccer season opener.

The Rockets missed some first-half chances, including a play where goalie Faith Richardson charged forward to snuff out a breakaway with no defenders back.

Then, with about three minutes to go in the half, Lucy Warner put a perfect arc on a penalty kick from 25 yards out for a 1-0 lead. The ball soared over defenders and dropped down just in front of the crossbar and behind Richardson.

Coach Andrew Goodwin was encouraged that Ilwaco was keeping it competitive against the Rockets, who are a 1A team, one classification higher than Ilwaco.

“We did a good job in the first half. We played them just about even, and the one goal was the most perfect shot anyone could’ve had,” Goodwin said.

The Fishermen weren’t creating many opportunities, struggling with spacing as they adjusted to lineup changes from last year.

“We’ve got to spread out better, and use the available space,” Goodwin said. “It’s just a matter of jelling together, getting used to each other.”

The teams were mostly at an impasse until Castle Rock broke through in the 53rd minute. With the Rockets on the attack near the Ilwaco goal, Siena Flint dribbled her way open and took a shot. Richardson made the stop, but Flint knocked in the rebound for a 2-0 lead. The Rockets almost immediately went back on the attack and scored on another similar rebound in the 55th minute. Castle Rock scored again on a high arcing shot from the side of the goal for a 4-0 lead with 13 minutes to go.

Inside three minutes to go, Ilwaco’s Sarah Frank drew a penalty as she and her defender went to the ground scrambling for the ball near the corner deep in Castle Rock territory. Elle Personius nailed the chip-shot penalty kick to put Ilwaco on the board for a 4-1 final score.

Ilwaco visits Ocosta Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., hosts Kalama Sept. 21 at noon, and visits Toutle Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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