The Ellensburg High School girls soccer team is no stranger to games that include some drama. All last season, it became the norm for the Bulldogs to vie in matchups that came down to the wire.

And when hardship arrives, the Bulldogs don’t falter even with a Cashmere High School team that drubbed the Bulldogs 7-0 last season and scored with seconds left on Tuesday to even the contest, 4-4, to send it into overtime.

“That’s what they say in sports, being able to overcome adversity and just put that behind you,” said co-head coach Jim Engeland.

So, Ellensburg did. After two scoreless five-minute overtimes, the contest was forced into a penalty kick shootout and Ellensburg hung on for a 5-4 victory to open up its 2019 season.

Ellensburg (1-0) was a perfect 4-for-4 with scores from Allie Brown, Maddy Snow, Dylan Philip, and Blake Johnson. Cashmere’s first PK shot sailed over the goal but connected with the next two attempts.

But on the final, senior captain and goalkeeper Cynthia Johnson swatted the ball over the goal to seal the win.

“I feel like coming in with a chip on our shoulder kind of helped us light that little fire we needed to win this game,” Philip said. “We were talking about it all day, we wanted this game really bad. It was really cool to get it in the shootout.”

Philip and Ellensburg picked off right where it left off last season, a team that finished 10-1 in the final 11 games before state. The sophomore led her team in goals in 2018 (14) and she notched two versus Cashmere.

Ellensburg’s offense is playing with more zest this season. It scored early in the third minute on an assist from Caitlyn Cheney to Kaelynn Smith for EHS to take an early 1-0 advantage, and then Sophomore Anna Engeland pushed the lead to two in the 14th minute.

The Bulldogs switched up their formation under new head coaches Engeland and Armando Bravo. They’re playing a 4-3-3, a more of an aggressive attack.

“We just came out and wanted to get them on their heels quick and attack,” Engeland said.

Cashmere scored in the 28th minute, but Philip immediately responded in the same minute with a header. Then in the 29th minute, Cashmere again found the net.

Ellensburg went into the half with a 3-2 lead.

Cashmere opened up the second half with an immediate goal, and both offenses subsided until Philip’s sliding kick put the Bulldogs back up in the 68th minute, 4-3.

But in the final seconds, Cashmere evened the game, 4-4.

“It was a miscommunication instead of clearing it,” Engeland said. “I think we kicked into their legs, and the ball played in their favor.”

Ellensburg will host Ephrata High School at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.

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