The win for Tuesday’s girls’ soccer game went to a swift and strong Friday Harbor team, always a formidable foe.
But as head coach Chama Anderson will tell you, the score is only the thin shell of a fuller story that included a lot of little victories for the Orcas girls.
“I was really encouraged by our play; they’re really improving,” said Anderson. “This game was a much better game for us (than the last against FH); I don’t feel like the score really reflected our play because our passing was so much better. They’re really coming together as a team. They’re getting more comfortable as a team and improving their chemistry.”
Just seconds after kickoff the Wolverines swept downfield to score, and kept the heat on for the rest of the game. The Vikings answered back by making them work for every goal, and they didn’t score again until 45 minutes into the first half, with a deadly corner kick dropped right in front of the goal.
Friday Harbor’s deliberate positioning and accurate passing kept the pressure consistently on Orcas defense. Junior Ashley Klein on sweeper was a brick wall, repulsing countless Wolverine advances into Viking territory and feeding the ball upfield.
Although Viking forwards turned on the speed, taking the ball downfield again and again,Viking offensive forays were stolen and redirected by the Wolverines’ quick defensive footwork before they could reach their goal.
When they slipped past Viking defense they still had one tough obstacle in their way: sophomore keeper Julia Bailey, who repeatedly blocked tough Wolverine shots, including two penalty kicks, and made a spectacular diving catch in the second half.
“She’s never played goalie before,” said Anderson. “For her to save two penalty kicks is just like, oh my god! She loves it. She loves getting muddy. It’s that heart passion that’s really pushing her forward and growing.”
Despite Bailey’s heroic saves, Friday Harbor’s relentless hammering produced an end score of 6-0.
“I am just really excited that my girls are progressing,” said Anderson. “They have a vision of where they want to be. There are some things they’re working on in practice; I can see them trying it, I can see them thinking about it. Putting it into practice at the speed of a game takes time. I can’t but be proud and excited about what they’re doing because they’re making it happen. They do have a lot of heart in it and they’re putting a lot of work into it. We’re all learning. It’s just not about winning, but about giving some good solid structure and support so they can become individuals who are really proud to be what they are in the world.”