After three consecutive one-goal wins, it was nice of the girls to give the coaching staff a relatively stress-free evening in what was one of our most convincing wins of the season. Not that the game was easy, late in the second half it was less the "beautiful game" and more closely resembled an MMA bout as the contest got very chippy. But our overall quality couldn't be denied and we left Interlake Stadium with a very well-earned, and relatively stress-free, win. The first time we played Interlake a month ago, it was the nadir of our season. We barely escaped with the win thanks to an excellent Maud goal with just a few minutes left in the game. Our return game at Interlake on Thursday couldn't have been more different. We began the game with verve and confidence, stringing together pass after pass and winning every tackle. Interlake's tactics were clear as they played with ten players in their defensive third of the field in an attempt to "park the bus" and catch us on a counter-attack. But by the 15th minute, our precision passing and patience were rewarded as Sophie found Grace with an excellent penetrating pass and our striker lashed it home for a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later and the game was effectively put to bed, as Katie hit a perfect curling free kick around the wall and past the Saint's keeper from 22 yards out for a 2-0 advantage. The rest of the first half was more coronation than contest as we completely dominated Interlake. Thanks to our stats team of Brian White and Gunter Gilberg, our margin of excellence can be quantified from our excellent first half:BHS / IHSShots 16 / 0 Possession: 68% / 32%Passes: 223 / 36Pass completion: 68% / 26%Corners 5 / 0 That's as lopsided of statistical half as we've had all season, with the only exception being the halftime stat of 2-0, which flattered Interlake in a beautiful 40 minutes of Wolverine soccer. The second half was more ragged as Interlake must have been given half-time orders to increase their physicality in an attempt to disrupt our possession advantage. That's a nice way of saying that the game got very chippy. To our team's credit, we never backed down, or lost our composure, and continued to play hard, fair, skillful and uncompromising soccer. Joelle scored in the 52nd, following up a rebound from Grace to make it 3-0. Kiley added a brace with two composed finishes in the 69th and 79th minutes (from Joelle and Sophie respectively) to fix the final scoreline at 5-0.HighlightsThe entire 80 minutes at Interlake was an uninterrupted highlight (hyperbole alert!) Everyone was excellent. Our passing. Our tacking. Our movement on and off the ball. Our unselfishness. Our simplicity. Our goalkeeping. Our cover defense, and suffocating press. Every aspect of our play was very good. Yes, Interlake is at the very bottom of the Kingco league table, but regardless, champions need to win the bottom-of-the-table games. No wobbles. No playing below our potential. And against Interlake, we were at our most confident, hard-working best. Of course, there are always lessons to be learned: we were a bit wasteful in our finishing in the first half when we could've, should've, scored more goals, but that's a nitpicking criticism. Overall, we were resplendent. And getting our best performances at just the right time of year.The Fine PrintI hesitate to bring this up since it is merely a signpost on the journey to where we really want to go, but our victory versus Interlake gives us enough points to clinch the regular season Kingco 3A/2A championship title, and #1 seed in the league playoffs. We will host the league championship game at Bellevue Stadium on Saturday evening October 29th, and face the winner of whomever emerges as the #2 seed (likely determined on the last day of the regular season when LW hosts MI). Regardless of our playoff opponent, I'm proud of our girls for their accomplishment. Of course, now I want put some gloss on the shine and finish our Kingco season undefeated, with a league championship playoff victory our next major milestone. FTJ.U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!Playing for your country is one of the greatest honors in our game. So we should recognize and celebrate Jojo's call-up to the U-18 United States Women's National Team for a prestigious international tournament being held in Northern Ireland this past week. We will miss her for four games, but she will return in time for our senior night next Wednesday night versus Juanita. When your country calls, you go and play. We are proud to have a US international in the Bellevue high school soccer family. Congratulations Jojo. Non-soccer observation of the weekMy family had the privilege of hosting the weekly team dinner on Wednesday evening. One of the many things I appreciate about this group of girls is their fine-tuned blend of competitiveness on the field, and their kindness and fun-loving nature off it. It's a great group. A joy to have in our home (and our kitchen was spotless before the last player left due to the well-trained thoughtfulness and help from our dinner guests. well done parents).