Bellevue 4-0 Bainbridge
27th min Kaitlyn (Nora)
32nd min Kendall PK
39th min Camille (Raina)
74th min Amy (Nora)
One of our more memorable non-conference games last year was our trip to Bainbridge Island. We had perfect sunny weather as we took the ferry across the Sound and played a very competitive set of games against our hosts before making the happy return voyage home on a clear night with the Seattle skyline as a welcoming backdrop. The return leg of our Bainbridge non-league agreement had an equally northwest flavor, but instead of ferry rides and beautiful nighttime skylines, we got chilly temperatures and intermittent rain. We are thankful for our parkas, even in September. Playing well in soggy conditions is going to be very important as our season progresses, so it was great to see our team play one of our most complete games of the season. We were sharp. Our passing was crisp and patient. Our team defense and overall work-rate was committed and contagious. And even after we created several fantastic chances that didn't convert (hit posts, good saves, narrow misses) we didn't panic and get impatient but continued to move the ball quickly with one and two-touch passing and good movement off the ball.
And we got our reward for our good play in the 27th minute. Lily took a throw-in deep in Bainbridge territory to Nora, who turned and squared a pass to Kaitlyn near the top of the box. Kaitlyn dinked a little half-volley floater that arced just beyond the outstretched hands of the keeper to nestle in the back of the net just below the crossbar. Lovely. 1-0 Bellevue. A few minutes later in the 32nd minute, Mia crossed to Amy in the box from the left wing and Amy's shot hit a defender's outstretched arm. Handball. Kenny buried the resulting PK into the side-netting with poise and composure. 2-0 Bellevue. Then a minute before halftime, Lillian released Raina down the right wing and Raina provided a perfect cross, low and hard on the turf just in front of the Bainbridge keeper where Camille charged in to finish at the back post from 3 yards out. 3-0 Bellevue. I hope everyone is noticing a trend in our goalscoring...good things happen when we get the ball to our speedy wingers and they execute composed crosses, especially when we have lots of players crashing the box, eager to score, and making intelligent, well-timed runs. Being in the right place at the right time in front of goal takes work, timing, and an anticipation of where the ball is going to be, not where it is.
The entire second half was composed and measured as we rotated our lineup and worked on managing the game to completion. We created lots of good chances, but it wasn't until the 74th minute that we added a fourth, an excellent team goal that started with Emily's wonderful upfield pass to Amy's feet at striker, Amy made a simple pass underneath to Nora who then released Kasia down the right wing. Our visiting freshmen raced past her defender, spun, and dropped the ball back to Nora who had continued to trail the play. Nora's first-time cross found Amy who finished smoothly to the keeper's left. It was a goal of speed, simplicity, unselfishness, and good finishing. Bellevue 4-0. Final score. Overall, shots/corners were decidedly in our favor 18/5 Bellevue vs. 3/0 for Bainbridge.
One of the many things I love about our team is our balanced approach to scoring. We have scored 25 goals in our first seven games with 12 different goalscorers. Seventeen players (yes, 17!) have recorded either a goal or an assist this season. That is remarkable. And so so so difficult to play against. On the other side of the field, our team D remains stingy, with only four goals conceded in those seven games with 4 shutouts. Our team is creating 19 shots per game, and allowing less than 3. That is a trend I hope to continue for the rest of the year.
We now move into the business end of our league schedule beginning next Saturday against rival Mercer Island. Since we don't play for another week, we have given the JV and Varsity teams Monday & Tuesday off from training. Rest. Take care of knocks and strains. We'll resume on Wednesday as we begin preparations for MI.