In Round No. 9 of sudden death and with the game still up for grabs, Nooksack Valley’s Janis DeJager hit the top of the crossbar, leaving the door wide open.
And Friday Harbor’s Robyn Roberts made the Pioneers pay.
Taking advantage of the miss, Roberts buried the ball in the right corner of the net from ten yards out to clinch a 3-2 victory over a resilent and opportunistic Nooksack Valley squad, Saturday, at home.
Roberts said it was a bit of deception that may have done the trick.
“I was looking the other way,” she said of lining up the game-winner. “It feels good.”
The Wolverines (3-0 league, 5-2-3 overall) erupted in celebration on the heels of Roberts’ winning boot, which came in an extra period that probably shouldn’t have been, Coach Mark Fishaut noted.
“We let them back into the game,” Fishaut said. “A win is a win, but basically we didn’t put the game away,”
Senior Mickey Leytze and sophomore Emily Guard tallied one goal apiece in the opening half and, with only five minutes left in regulation, Friday Harbor had a 2-0 lead over a Nooksack Valley squad that entered the non-league contest with just one win to its credit so far this year.
Though the Wolverines let two shots slip by at the end of regulation, senior goalkeeper Rhiana Franklin kept the team on track in sudden death so that Roberts could deliver the deciding shot.
Saturday’s victory marks the second time in her high school career that Franklin has successfully defended the goal in a high-stakes situation of sudden death.
May sound strange, but the senior goalkeeper welcomes the challenge.
“It’s a lot of stress but I don’t mind shootouts,” she said. “I think I do better under stress. Last year’s win over La Conner was my favorite moment ever on this field.”
The Wolverines face Concrete on the road, Thursday, at 4:45 p.m., travel to Merdian, Saturday, 11 a.m., and are at Orcas Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m.