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Wolverines are advancing in skillful, and sometimes dramatic, style | Girls soccer
What kind of season is the Friday Harbor Wolverines girls soccer team having?
The girls have clinched at least a tie for the league title — and there are seven regular season games to go.
In nine games, the team has allowed only four goals, one of those in a shootout.
Fourteen of 18 players have scored.
And the team doesn't give up. The home league game Thursday against La Conner ended in a tie, and Friday Harbor won 2-1 in a shootout.
"Soccer games against La Conner are always exciting and this one was no exception," Head Coach Mark Fishaut said. "They are always intense and invariably close. Over the years, one team or the other has been the stronger on paper but on the field that has mattered little."
Thursday, La Conner had the better of the play early but the Wolverines gradually exerted more and more pressure. The score was 0-0 at the half, with Friday Harbor probably having more shooting opportunities, but neither team could finish. The second half was more of the same, with La Conner foiled on two breakaways by Liz Taylor and the home side unable to finish a number of opportunities. The last part of the half and overtime were largely in the La Conner end, but still no goals.
The game went to a shootout and the Wolverines' preparation won the day. The Wolverines routinely practice penalty kicks, putting the goal keeper under regular pressure. This bore fruit as keeper Rhiana Franklin stopped the final two shots of the game, allowing the successful efforts of Larissa Nash and Clara Brand to seal an exciting win.
Final score: Friday Harbor 0 La Conner 0 (Friday Harbor wins on penalty kicks, 2-1).
Friday Harbor 6
Earlier in the week, the Wolverines had an easier time of it on a second visit to Orcas. A goal in the first minute by Elle Guard set the tone.
For much of the first half, the team sat on a one-goal lead while Orcas showed considerably more enthusiasm. However, the zip returned to the Friday Harbor game late in the period as Guard and Clara Brand made it 3-0 at halftime. There was little letup in the second half as Brand, Mandy Turnbull and Robyn Roberts added three more.
The highlight of the game took place late in the match as Friday Harbor completed a 10-pass sequence just before the final whistle.
Lynden Christian 2
Friday Harbor 0
The Wolverines traveled to Lynden Christian for a playoff seeding match against the Lyncs on Sept. 25.
The game was even for the entire first half, with the defensive corps of Maggie Andersen, Megan Goudie, Larissa Nash and Elizabeth Taylor stifling a big, quick and skilled opponent. Unfortunately, failure to clear the box allowed the Lyncs to score in the last minute of the half to take a 1-0 lead.
Friday Harbor was largely pinned in its own end for most of the second half as Lynden Christian took control of the midfield. A second goal was yielded midway through the session.
A short handed JV squad also held its own for most of the first half. Down 0-2, Friday Harbor fought its way back into the match off a lovely goal by Libby Snow. However, the combination of a first game for several, the 80-degree temperature, and a full-sized field took its toll. Final score: Lynden Christian 10, Friday Harbor 1.
Next: The Wolverines (6-2-1) host Meridian Oct. 2, noon. They host Mount Vernon Christian Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.
Season at a Glance
— Sept. 8: Friday Harbor 4, South Whidbey 0
— Sept. 11: Port Townsend 1, Friday Harbor 0
— Sept. 14: Friday Harbor 3, Orcas 0
— Sept. 18: Friday Harbor 0, Evergreen Lutheran 0
— Sept. 21: Friday Harbor 7, Mount Vernon Christian 0
— Sept. 23: Friday Harbor 7, Concrete 0
— Sept. 25: Lynden Christian 2, Friday Harbor 0
— Sept. 28: Friday Harbor 6, Orcas 0
— Sept. 30: Friday Harbor 0, La Conner 0 (F.H. wins in shootout, 2-1)