For the first eight minutes of the game, forward Jasmine Smith and the Bonney Lake High School girls soccer team could not be contained in a 3-1 victory over Bethel on Tuesday night.
Right from the whistle, the Panthers’ attack put the Braves on their heels, and Smith came away with two goals in the game’s opening minutes.
“I just shot it; I was kind of in the moment,” Smith said.
With the victory, Bonney Lake (8-1-2, 7-1-1 3A Pierce County League) claimed a share of first-place in the league with Stadium.
Never miss a local story.
“Our whole thing is we don’t want to peak early and flame out. ... That’s our goal, we want to peak at the right time of the season,” Panthers coach Wayne Farris said. “I’m proud of the fact that everyday they get just a little bit better.”
The loss is the first for Bethel (6-1-3, 6-1-3) since it moved down a classification into 3A.
Smith was at the top of her game from the start as Bonney Lake’s senior forward blazed by the Braves backline, firing a flurry of shots on goal.
In the fourth minute, Smith intercepted a pass at midfield before dribbling a few feet and firing a 32-yard shot into the top corner to give Bonney Lake a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, the Panthers’ attack went right back to work. Midfielder Kaylee Coatney laced a through-ball to set Smith up for an easy one-timer for a 2-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Smith had plenty of chances to complete the hat trick, but the senior captain could not add another goal in the win.
“I really wanted that tonight. I really did,” Smith said.
Smith finished with a game-high 13 shots, with nine on target.
Bonney Lake didn’t let up in the second half, as Coatney increased her team-leading season scoring total.
With four defenders protecting Bethel’s goal, Summer Kober made a run through the Braves’ backline, creating space for Coatney. A blind back-heel pass from Kober found an open Coatney, whose strike increased the lead to 3-0 in the 46th minute.
“I saw the run come in behind, and I got behind the defense and made the shot in the corner,” said Coatney, who scored her 17th goal of the season. “We were winning our 50-50 balls, getting good passes and switching the ball a lot.”
Coatney has scored in every game but one for the Panthers this season.
Bethel broke Jamie Flynn’s shutout when Bethel keeper Annalisa Klein ran out a dribble to midfield before firing a pass into Bonney Lake’s corner.
Miya Thomas picked up the loose ball, dribbled to the edge of the Panthers’ box and curved a shot that found the left side of the net in stoppage time.
“(The win) feels good because it means we can be on top if we beat Stadium,” Smith said.
Bonney Lake will play the first of two consecutive games against Stadium (8-1-1, 7-1-1) on Thursday at the Stadium Bowl.