Loss to Ephrata ends sunny season for Quincy soccer
The Quincy Lady Jacks soccer team saw their best season in years come to a rough end with a 6-0 loss to Ephrata Oct. 23 in the first round of playoffs.
The loss in no way diminished the team’s astounding achievement of earning a postseason berth after having won one game in the last two years combined.
The Lady Jacks gave up two quick goals against the Tigers on the road, trailing 2-0 after 10 minutes. After hanging tough for the remainder of the half, the Quincy booters once again had a slow start, giving up three goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half.
The Lady Jacks had earned their playoff berth on the road, as well, beating Toppenish 3-1 on Oct. 18.
That night, Emily Wurl had all Quincy goals, coming up big in the second half with two tallies to snuff out any chance of a Toppenish rally. The Wildcats had tied the game at 1-1 after going into the break with Quincy ahead 1-0.
An ecstatic bunch of girls celebrated well after the game was over, giving each other piggyback rides and enjoying the sight of the usually all-business head coach Francisco Tafoya breaking into a grin.
“I don’t even have words to express how happy I am,” said Giselle Hernandez, a veteran of the tough 2016 and 2017 campaigns. “It’s our senior year and we are finally getting somewhere with this team, and it’s incredible.”
Hernandez credited the team’s willingness to work hard and the coaching staff’s willingness to push the team to work even harder as cornerstones of the success of the squad.
“I honestly can’t stop smiling,” defender Hailey McKee said. “I’m so proud of my team, we have put in a lot of work to get here.”
Two-a-days, long summer practices, good chemistry between talented freshmen and experienced veterans made for a good season of soccer for this team, McKee said, a season that few saw coming.
“I’m not going to lie, at the beginning of the season I went, ‘OK, here we go again,’” McKee said. “Our first win was against Chelan, and I was like, ‘OK, we have beaten Chelan before.’ But we kept winning and keeping the games really close. And on our third game, I was like, ‘Wow, we have a great team.’”
The freshmen on the squad also felt the thrill of a long-awaited playoff berth.
“We have been working since we were 6, or 7, or 4 for this, and we feel great that it finally got us somewhere,” said Wurl, a freshman who is also the team’s leading scorer.
The team’s goal was to go to districts from the start, Sheridan Donovan said. A lot of the freshmen know each other from club ball, Wurl added, having played together for years.
Wurl thanked their youth coaches for their years of work, preparing the girls for high school ball, and Tafoya for being willing to push the squad.
Tafoya returned the kudos, saying that full credit belongs to the girls and their hard work.
“It’s something that at the beginning of the year, I knew that if we put our heads together, we could get to this place right now,” Tafoya said.
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com