Unified Soccer team finishes third at districts
A terrific campaign came to an end under the Moses Lake sun on May 4.
The Quincy High School Unified Soccer team, which gathers able-bodied and intellectually-challenged players, finished its finest season in recent memory with a third-place berth in the district tournament.
The team suffered one loss all season long, a 2-0 defeat to Ephrata in the first round of districts, but bounced back to trounce Othello 7-3 and beat Moses Lake by forfeit, after tying 3-3 at halftime.
The team combined enthusiasm, laughter, effort, talent and some snazzy goal celebrations to put together a tremendous run, with good games both on the road and on their lone home date, a doubleheader of friendly matches against Ephrata on April 25.
At Districts, during one of the hotter days of the year so far, the team used its deep bench to good effect, subbing players often to avoid having the heat become an issue.
Goalkeeper Laurissa Mullins played the most minutes, but still had coaches and teammates looking after her to make sure she remained cool, with plenty of water and Gatorade on hand, and at one point covering her head with a sweatshirt held by co-head coach Therese Sawyer.
Diego Torres, Alex Gutierrez, Clara Valencia, Kylie Breeden and Denise Vazquez were among the players who found the back of the net during the district tournament.
Torres’ goal had been a long time in coming, and the bench exploded with joy when the ball finally went in after three tries.
Breeden’s goal was another highlight in a breakout season for a player who’s coming into her own on the pitch and making extraordinary progress compared to last season.
In a sweet show of sportsmanship, the Quincy team ended each game by creating a tunnel of extended arms and inviting its opponents to run through it.
“We are a family,” said Sawyer, who co-leads the team alongside Dayana Ruiz.Players such as Breeden are already looking forward to next season and another run at the district title under the Moses Lake sunshine.
To learn more about this team, check out its Facebook page, “Quincy Unified.”
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com