Hoffman finds saving grace in her last high school soccer game
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:44 AM
"They misspelled Catharine Hoffmans name in the official Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) state soccer tournament program.They really butchered it. Not just er instead of ar in Catharine, but something almost unintelligible Calhanre sort of like somebody fell asleep at the keyboard, hit some random keys with their forehead and let the result stand for publication.The mistake, though, is probably just fine with Hoffman. The Klahowya Secondary School senior has much more to remember the tournament by than a mangled word in a program.This, she said moments after the Eagles had beaten Riverside 2-0 in the championship game of the state Class 2A tournament at rainy Federal Way Stadium, is just about the perfect way to end my high school soccer career. I couldnt think of anything better.We won, I made some good saves ... what more could I ask?Hoffman made six saves in collecting her second shutout in two days as the Eagles finished off their run to the state championship. None was bigger, though, than her stop of Anna Bowers point-blank shot 12 minutes into the second half, diving to her left and stopping Bowers skidding shot just before it passed the left goalpost.That save preserved Klahowyas 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Nicole Zygmontowicz would score to give the Eagles a 2-0 cushion and pretty much end Riversides hopes of a comeback.I like it when I make a tough save, because then I really feel like I made a difference, Hoffman said. It shows up on the scoreboard.Hoffman remembers a day when the difference between her having a great day and merely a good one meant holding an opponent in single figures scoring. Her sophomore season, the Eagles then in their first year absorbed some terrible beatings, playing the types of games that give goalkeepers nightmares.Fitting, then, that her prep career should end with the dream of a state championship coming true, and her playing an integral role.Hoffman almost didnt return to the team for her junior season, but saw enough light at the end of the Eagles tunnel to persuade herself to come back. Times still were hard, but Klahowya turned a corner, playing respectably against the larger schools in the Olympic League and advancing to the state 2A quarterfinals.I couldnt have quit, Hoffman said earlier in this years playoffs. I couldnt have don that to the team. And I wouldnt have missed this for anything.Now the Eagles must replace the only goalkeeper theyve ever had.Its not going to be easy, said Klahowya coach Troy Oelschlager. Shes been a great player for us."