Bellevue 2-0 Juanita
High school soccer seasons can be long. As we get to our 45th day of soccer, bodies and minds can get tired as the demands of balancing daily athletic and academic performance require steady exertion and focus. But High school seasons can be incredibly short too. If feels like yesterday that our girls were participating in their last captain's practice of the summer and preparing for our first game against Seattle Prep. How did we get to the last week of the regular season so quickly?
For our seniors, they made their last road trip to Juanita last night, and for the first time in my four years, it wasn't in a cold rainstorm. We got an unusually warm and dry evening for our last tilt against the Rebels, perfect for soccer. And our start couldn't have been better, as we took the kick-off into the Juanita box and got our first shot away within the first few seconds. It was foreshadowing, for just a few minutes later, Halle delivered an inch-perfect pass through the Rebel defense to an onrushing Courtney who finished for an early 1-0 lead. And for the balance of the half, we continued to apply steady pressure on the Juanita goal, and if not for hit posts, and last-second clearances, we would've (and should've) added to our lead. Juanita did have a good chance mid-way through, as we got caught briefly down our left side, but the resulting shot was well wide of the target. And that was it for Juanita chances in the half. Our team defense was excellent, so although we had a few sloppy moments in possession going forward, we were always in our balance shape defensively and able to control their occasional forays into our end of the field. 1-0 at halftime.
Juanita changed their formation in the 2nd half in an attempt to chase a result, removing a defender and adding a striker to effectively attack with four players up front. And for the first 10 minutes, Juanita pressed us hard and were able to gain more territory than most of the previous half. But their tactics meant more risk taken in their own defense, so after weathering the initial push, it wasn't surprising that we were able to add to our lead with an excellent counter-attack, Halle again orchestrating the move with a first-time pass to Zoe who smartly squared to Courtney in the box. Courtney turned her defender with style and smashed the ball past the onrushing keeper for her 2nd goal of the game (and 4th in the last two). Quick, decisive and unselfish passing and we had the cushion we needed to see the game through. 2-0 Bellevue. Final score. It was a comprehensive win against a team that never gave up and battled to the final whistle.
When we are playing flowing, team-first quality soccer, and getting the results earned from that effort, I wish the hourglass of our season was bigger, and the sands flowed a bit more slowly. Regardless of where we end up over the next few weeks, I will miss this season when it's time is at an end.
Two more games in the regular season. Home vs. Sammamish for senior night next Tuesday, then our finale against Mercer Island on Halloween. If we win both games, we are assured of playing league-leader LW in the Kingco championship game that determines an automatic bid to the state tournament, but it will take two great performances as both Sammamish and MI have been getting very good results late in the season.
Congratulations to our JV and JVC teams. Both teams lead their respective league tables going into the final week of the season. Our JV team is undefeated in Kingco with a 9-0-1 record, having scored 29 goals while allowing only 1. Equally impressive is our JVC team, which unlike our Varsity and JV, plays a challenging combined 3A-4A schedule. Despite playing bigger schools like Skyline and Issaquah, our JVC team is undefeated 9-0-2 in league play having scored 33 goals and allowing only 4. Well done girls and good luck in your final two games of the season this week.