Bellevue 3-2 Liberty
2nd min BHS 1-0 Anna (Kasia)
38th min BHS 1-1 Liberty goal
48th min BHS 2-1 Arianna (Kasia corner)
54th min BHS 3-1 Savannah (Mack)
78th min BHS 3-2 Liberty goal
Thursday night was the final game of the 2023 JV girls soccer season as we traveled to chilly Liberty High School. While the sun was out for our warm ups, the minute the sun went down, temperatures dropped, drastically.
But did it impact the girls? Maybe, but not in the first minutes of the game. We talked pregame about putting everything we had learned and worked on all season into this game. One last chance to put your mark on this season. Right way the girls came out flying. We almost scored from the kickoff if not for some last-minute defending by the Patriots. But just seconds latter a sequence of passes, the best we’ve seen all season, led to our first goal.
A ball played out of the back line started us moving forward as we found our midfielders. Two quick passes found Morgan’s feet who then tapped it to Kasia on the right flank. She took the ball all the way to the end line where she crossed it perfectly to a streaking Anna for the finish. It was an eight-pass sequence and a thing of beauty.
As much as I had hoped this would open the scoring flood gates, it just didn’t happen. Credit to Liberty who settled down after the early goal and starting connecting passes and putting us under pressure. Faith Cody, our trusted stat keeper, notified me as the first half was coming to a close that the Patriots had more shots than us. Ugh.
With just minutes to go until the break, Liberty finally broke through with a long shot from about 30 yards out. The ball floated over Sofia’s head and she couldn’t keep it out of the net. Halftime.
During our halftime discussions, talked about keeping our focus until the whistle. It is a problem we’ve had all season; giving up silly goals right before either halftime or the end of the game. Focus, focus, focus.
As I mentioned earlier, putting a mark on this final game was a big pregame talking point. And just minutes into the second half, two of our mainstays in the midfield, Arianna and Sav, put their stamp on the game. First off, Arianna found herself in the right spot in the 48th minute. A Kasia corner kick was batted down by the Patriot goalkeeper. Several players pounced on it but Mack’s shot was blocked and several Liberty clearances failed to clear the area. The ball bounced out to Ari about 12 yards out and she calmly put it in the back of the net for her first goal of the season. It was some smart soccer as she didn’t try to overhit the shot and it nicely rippled the back of the net. And speaking of first goals, Savannah was up next. Just minutes after Ari’s goal, Savannah gathered in a loose ball, cut around her defender and launched a beautiful shot over the top of the keeper. As she ran off the field, she reminded me it was her first goal since Freshman year. Congrats.
As much as I would like to say we cruised the rest of the way in this game, it just didn’t happened. Always a team that makes it hard on ourselves, a bit of miscommunication in the back lead to a Patriot goal in the 78th minute. So with minutes to go we had to see this game out clinging to a 3-2 lead. But fortunately some timely clearances and deft dribbling got us to the final whistle and we let out a sigh of relief.
The victory gave us the outright KingCo JV championship with a 8-1-1 league record (12-2-1 overall). It was a great season as we got contributions from everyone on the roster. 10 of our girls had either a goal or an assist as we scored 48 goals and had 9 shutouts.
I want to thank everyone for their support this season and a special shoutout to Stacy Heinemann our team manager. It takes an army to get through the season. Thank you.