WARDEN — Aubree Skone has upped her weight training during her junior year and the results are starting to pay off.
Warden’s standout forward shook off numerous double and triple teams to score four goals and notch one assist in a 5-3 win over Naches Valley in the opening game of the South Central Athletic Conference District Soccer Tournament.
“I had to tell her (Skone) the last game that we needed a spark on our team and a leader and she’s really taken that to heart the last two games and I’m very proud of her and how hard she’s working,” head coach Hannah Mohs said. “She just powers through and that’s one of the things — when we had our all-league meetings, the other coaches, they were like she’s just a powerhouse. She’s just strong. She’s definitely grown and improved the last two years and her attitude and her effort are just phenomenal.”
Warden appeared in control from the opening whistle.
Ashlyn Yamane found Skone for the first of her four goals in the second minute.
However, throughout the game, Naches Valley refused to go away. In the eighth minute, Faith Hahn-Landis beat goalie Ellie Conahan with a shot low and away to even the game, 1-1.
Skone answered seven minutes later, muscling past multiple defenders to put a shot just under the reach of charging goalie Torrie Hoover.
Warden opened up a two-goal advantage when Skone was fouled just outside the penalty box. Bailey Whitney took the free kick, but instead of shooting she poked a short pass to her left for an open Skone who beat Hoover one-on-one.
Unbowed, Naches Valley’s Brixadia Mendoza scored seconds before halftime and Hahn-Landis scored her second goal in the 49th minute to tie the game, 3-3.
A year older and a year wiser, Warden rallied around its playoff experience for a response.
“Even when they were tied, I was definitely worried with their demeanor, but then they definitely surprised me and picked it up and went just as hard and I was able to switch a few girls around to spark anything,” Mohs said.
Skone regained the lead for Warden in the 55th minute and assisted on the clincher, feeding a cross to Jocelyn Chagoya in the 70th minute.
“Getting to know everyone and what we can all do really helps,” Skone said.
Warden travels to West No. 1 seed La Salle, 6 p.m., Oct. 31 for the district semifinals.
First half — 1, W, Skone (Yamane) 2:00. 2, NV, Hahn-Landis, 8:00. 3, W, Skone, 15:00. 4, W, Skone (Whitney) 33:00. 5, NV, Mendoza, 40:00.
Second half — 6, NV, Hahn-Landis, 49:00. 7, W, Skone, 55:00. 8, W, Chagoya (Skone), 70:00.