Friday Harbor wins second consecutive league title, headed to post-season | Soccer

Friday Harbor’s Clara Brand fends off a Seattle Christian defender and chases down a loose ball in the Wolverines’ 5-1 loss at home Thursday against the Warriors.

BULLETIN: The Wolverines eked out a tough 1-0 victory over La Conner today to secure their second successive League Championship and earn their first bye ever in post-season play.

The only goal of the match was scored by Alex Freeman, who put in an Emma Ytander rebound in the third minute. The defense was pushed to the limit for the remainder of the game but did not break.

Hannah Snow completed her regular-season career with a brilliant shutout.

Here is Journal reporter Scott Rasmussen’s earlier report, published in this week’s print edition:

A talented Seattle Christian team took advantage of Emma Ytander’s absence from the field to deal the Wolverines a 5-1 defeat Thursday in Friday Harbor.

Ytander, Friday Harbor’s leading scorer and offensive spark plug, was sidelined with a minor injury early in the opening half and did not return for the remainder of the match.

Seattle Christian, at 9-4 overall and tied with Orting at the top of the Cascade Division of the 1A/2A Nisqually League, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and controlled possession of the ball for the better part of the game.

The Wolverines narrowed the deficit to 2-1 as sophomore Mandy Turnbull used her head to drive home the team’s only goal of the game on a 35-yard cross pass by Hannah Starr with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

Goalie Hannah Snow prevented the Warriors from adding to their total with a brilliant block on a penalty kick by Seattle Christian’s Terrika Weaver. But big plays here and there weren’t enough to get the Wolverines back into the game, and the Warriors sealed the win by adding three goals in the second half.

Friday Harbor Head Coach Dr. Mark Fishaut said the team battled hard and performed well given the circumstances.

“Even in the absence of league scoring-leader Emma Ytander, Friday Harbor showed that it is able to compete against high-level opponents who are select 12-month-a-year club players,” Fishaut noted in his summary of the game.

“One could not ask for better preparation for the playoffs.”

Friday Harbor (8-1 league, 11-4 overall) remains in sole possession of first place in the Northwest 1A/2B League with one regular-season match left. The Wolverines would clinch their second-straight league title with a victory over La Conner, the league runner up, Tuesday at Mount Vernon High School.

Earlier in the week, the Wolverines ran away with an 8-1 win against an overmatched Mount Vernon Christian to notch their 11th victory of the season.

Despite missing six shots-on-goal in the first seven minutes of the match, Friday Harbor led 5-0 at the break as junior Clara Brand starting the scoring-fest by burying the ball in the back of the net on a pass from Lola Elford at the 6-minute mark. Junior Elle Guard tallied three goals before the half and Jenny MacDonald added another on an assist from Brand.

The Wolverines struck quickly after the break as senior Ytander added two more goals to the total to put Friday Harbor out in front 7-0. The team spent the remainder of the second half trying to set up senior goalie Snow with a scoring opportunity. Though she provided a pass to set up sophomore Liz Taylor with her first goal of the year, Snow, an All-League goalie, wasn’t able to tally what would have been a first-ever goal of her four-year prep career.

Next: The Wolverines will play a District 1 playoff game Thursday at Oak Harbor High School against the winner of the Coupeville/Meridian game, which will be played Wednesday. The game on Thursday will start at 1 p.m.

With a win, the girls will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m.; with a loss they will play on Saturday at noon. Both of these games will also be at Oak Harbor High School.