The Walla Walla Community College women’s soccer match against Wenatchee Valley stopped suddenly midway through the first half, with Warriors starting goalie Paige Kubista motionless for more than 20 minutes following a three-player collision.
Action resumed after an ambulance left with Kubista.
Her teammates soon scored a pair of goals before halftime, and by the time the match ended, the Warriors had a 2-0 victory in NWAC East Region play here Wednesday.
“I was really proud of the way we were able to overcome seeing one of our goalies get carted off and then taken into an ambulance to the hospital,” WWCC coach Jordan Hacker said. “The last that I heard is that they’re waiting on X-ray results. I think she’s all right. She’s been Snapchatting the girls. It seems like she’s all right.”
Walla Walla sophomore Jeanette Alvarado replaced Kubista, and proceeded to make three saves as they combined to record the Warriors’ ninth shutout this season, including the last three in a row.
Walla Walla goalies have surrendered only 10 goals all season.
Wednesday’ win enabled Walla Walla (9-2-1 overall, 5-1-0 in the region) to remain tied with North Idaho for second place in the East’s standings, as the Cardinals defeated Treasure Valley. First-place Spokane also won to remain unbeaten.
“The WWCC team’s playing fairly well,” Hacker said. “We’ve stuck together as a team, even though we’ve had quite a few injuries and things like that that have set us back.”
Kubista joined the list of casualties less than 25 minutes into Wednesday’s match.
Neither team had yet scored when the Wenatchee attack chased after a loose ball in the Walla Walla box.
“Paige came out to get the ball,” Hacker explained. “Our centerback, Chelsea Marozik, came to shield the ball. Paige was going to grab it, and the Wenatchee girl fouled Chelsea from behind, propelling her into Paige. She hit Paige in an awkward spot. (Paige) said she heard a pop, and felt tingling in her neck.
“It’s one of those scary things, when you have a player got down and then not move,” he said. “But she was able to move her hands and legs and everything before she went to the hospital so that was a good sign. We just wanted to be more safe than sorry.”
Alvarado took over between the posts, and the Warriors finally broke the stalemate about six minutes later.
Walla Walla sophomore Sam Filingeri-Oleson slipped the ball to classmate Kylee Platt, who hit the back of the net in the upper-right corner from about 18 yards out.
Filingeri-Oleson nearly doubled the lead two minutes later, but her shot glanced off the crossbar.
However, Walla Walla freshman Tate Kautzky converted a penalty kick a minute before halftime. The Warriors had penetrated the Wenatchee box where officials whistled the Knights for a foul on the conference’s top-scorer, Walla Walla sophomore Haley Berryman, setting up a one-on-one opportunity.
Hacker called on Kautzky to take the shot, and she went to the bottom-left corner.
“That’s never fun,” Kautzky said of the penalty kick. “It’s very mental. Our coach has a rule: if you get fouled, you don’t take the (penalty kick) because you’re already frustrated. Haley did all the dirty work; I just got to score.”
Walla Walla’s two first-half goals provided more than enough cushion, as the Warriors controlled action to the end.
“Overall, the defense played extremely well,” Hacker said. “They had a couple of breakaways, but Jeanette Alvarado made a huge save to keep it 2-0.”
The Warriors return to action Tuesday, when Walla Walla hosts Treasure Valley.
Article by Hector del Castillo of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Picture by Greg Lehman of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin