Othello soccer still active in District playoffs

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Casey McCarthy/Sun Tribune Othello’s Janelly Verduzco vies with Quincy’s Sheridan Donovan for the ball in the second half of the opening round of the CWAC District Tournament.

OTHELLO — Othello soccer picked up the 4-1 win over Quincy in its CWAC District Tournament first-round matchup on Oct. 29 in Othello.

The Jacks almost jumped out to an early lead in the match, putting the ball in the back of the net before the goal was disallowed on an offsides call. The Huskies kept the pressure on for most of the opening part of the first half.

Gracie Sorenson opened up the scoring for Othello with about 16 minutes to play in the opening half, forcing in a ball from a high crossing pass from the right side.

Quincy responded with a number of shots to keep the pressure on, before a foul inside the box gave the Huskies a chance to double their lead. Mckenzie Fultz put the penalty in the back of the net to give Othello the 2-0 lead going into the half.

The second half began much like the first half, with both sides again trading blows with neither team able to convert. Shaya Parrish was able to build on the lead for the Huskies, putting in a free kick from outside the 18-yard box to put Othello up 3-0.

Nicol Ortiz responded a few minutes later with the goal for Quincy, to cut the lead to just two with less than 10 minutes to play in the match. Parrish responded with another goal, less than two minutes later. Sorenson assisted with a ball played back outside the box as the senior midfielder converted on another long shot to give the Huskies the 4-1 advantage.

Othello head coach Juan Garcia said after the match that he felt his girls played well. Coming in, Garcia said he was nervous given the back and forth nature of the last matchup between the two teams and the Jacks ability to keep the pressure on the Huskies.

“We were able to slow things down and play our style of soccer,” Garcia said. “The first fifteen minutes or so were pretty slow for us. Luckily, the girls were able to shake off the cold and pull it together for us.”

Sophomore Hailee Guzman continued to be a force for the Huskies, even without scoring or assisting on a goal in the game. Garcia said she managed to keep pressure on the defense as a playmaker, despite not finding the back of the net. Lane Simpson finished with 10 saves in goal for Othello. Her coach said she’s a player that comes in to practice ready to go every day, and takes that same mentality with her onto the pitch during the game.

With the loss the Jacks wrap up their season this year. Quincy head coach Francisco Tafoya said after the match that he felt his girls fought well in the match, playing without Emily Wurl who has been a force for the team all season up front.

“I told these girls they shouldn’t be ashamed of anything, that they fought a hard game,” Tafoya said.

Tafoya said he felt that the team had made great strides from where they were to begin the season this year, with players stepping up who maybe weren’t involved to the same degree last season.

The Quincy head coach said he’ll look to try and keep his players focused on soccer in the offseason, improving on their skills as they try and challenge for the top half of the league next season.

“We’re slowly building as a program and trying to take that corner that we took last year, and it’s slowly moving in the right direction,” Tafoya said.

Editor’s note: Othello was defeated by Selah 4-1 in the District semifinals. The Huskies played Ephrata Tuesday after The Sun Tribune’s deadline for seeding into crossover playoff games on Nov. 9.

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