BHS 3-0 Interlake
8th min Lily (Halle)
18th min Mo (Bekah)
65th min Alex (unassisted)
When Ted Lasso is asked if he believes in ghosts, he responds, "I do, but more importantly, I believe that they need to believe in themselves."
I'm not making any big philosophical or metaphysical statements in a high school soccer game recap, that quote mostly just makes me laugh. But like the fictitious coach Lasso, I do believe in belief. Belief is confidence. Trust. And confident players stop over-thinking about the technical aspects of the game, or the tactical responsibilities for their role, and simply play with free-flowing instinct based on belief in themselves. They do the right technical and tactical things automatically. Belief that all of the hours of training, hours invested in their technical and tactical skills, will be there during gametime in muscle memory. Trust in themselves and trust in their teammates.
And with each successive game this season, we are seeing longer and longer stretches where collectively, our players' belief in themselves is showing through. And the result is some very beautiful soccer. Our first goal was an excellent example: from an Interlake goal kick in the 8th minute, Lily won the ball in the air with a directed header, and seven crisp and confident passes later, Halle hit a magnificent one-touch pass that split the Interlake defense, found Lily unmarked, and our senior took her chance by smashing a low shot past the Interlake keeper. It was a great team goal that required technique in tight spaces, and tactical understanding about when and where to move to make angles for teammates. And it didn't look labored or forced, but free-flowing and smooth. This is the style of soccer that we want on repeat: confidence. quick passing, and movement all over the field.
At the 18th minute we were 2-0 up. Bekah received a simple pass from Zoe on the right wing, she turned and "bolo-ed" (body nutmeg) her defender to free herself on the wing and then hit a perfect low cut-back cross to Mo who redirected the ball past the helpless keeper. So sweet. A super cross and a striker's finish.
We continued to create chances for the balance of the game, but we didn't find the back of the net again until the 65th minute, when freshman Alex ferociously counter-pressed (we win the ball, lose the ball, then immediately win it back again) on the right wing, outraced her defender, and slotted home from a tight angle (low, hard and to the left corner) to score her first goal in a Bellevue jersey. I have no doubt that it is merely the first of many. Well done Alex.
3-0 the final scoreline on a chilly spring evening. I believe in this team, and more importantly, they are beginning to believe in themselves.
This was a very solid defensive performance. Only 2 shots by IHS. one in each half. And the Saints have very speedy forwards who aren't easy to contain. But more importantly, we were very composed and patient across the backline once we won the ball. Zoe, Audrey, Ava, Lily, Vanessa, Danielle Amber & Gaby all did their jobs extremely well. I want our defenders to join the attacking party often. And Vanessa, Amber, Zoe, Gaby and Danielle all raced up and down the sidelines causing over-load match-up problems for the Saints all night; 16/2 shots/corners to 2/0 for the Saints. 270 minutes of shutout soccer for our team defense and Ashley & Izzy so far this season. Long may it continue. As I told the girls at training, I guarantee that we'll never lose if we never concede a goal. And we are making good on that guarantee so far this season; Overall, an excellent start to our season, and a perfect time for a trip across the bridge to the island.