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"Kickers split an NCC pair, then beat Meridian in OT"

"Claudia Gil-Osario goes offensive in a varsity game earlier this season. The varsity team improved its NCC record to 4-2 Tuesday with a home win against Meridian.Matt Johnson / staff photoWith enough bodies in front of her to hide what she was doing near the end of the first half against Lakewood in the Oct. 12 soccer game at Waterman Field, Hannah McCabe charged out of the midfield and kicked a high, looping shot over a crowd into the empty corner of the net guarded by Lakewood's goalkeeper.That kick was the only one the Falcons needed to win the North Cascades Conference matchup and to wedge themselves solidly into this season's playoff hunt. The victory was the team's seventh of the season and second in NCC play. It was also a great way to forget the strange, double-overtime loss the Falcons suffered against Mount Baker on Oct. 10. Falcon coach Paul Arand said that it was an ill wind that sealed his team's fate against the Mountaineers. Playing on a narrow field swept with a strong wind, both teams struggled and triumphed with the whims of air movement. During regulation time, the Falcons and Mountaineers were only able to score when they had the winds at their back. Tied 2-2 at the final whistle, both teams knew that the direction of play could decide the game. The Falcons had the wind's favor in the first 5-minute overtime, but failed to score. When the two teams switched ends for the second OT period, the Mountainers did not let their chance go by and parked a goal shot in the net for the win.Against Lakewood, the Falcons played their own game. They kept the ball in Lakewood's end for most of regulation, thanks in part to the speedy legs of freshman Claudia Gil-Osario. Gil-Osario moved up from the junior varsity squad to the play the game and provided the assist for McCabe's winning goal.I thought we were getting to the ball quicker, Arand said. That made all the difference.Goalkeeper Kellie Horn, appearing in only her 12th varsity game, shut down Lakewood's offense almost singlehandedly, smothering balls as far as 20 yards out from her net.In the junior varsity game, Lindsey Barrett scored a goal off an Anna Gillis assist to lead her team to its eighth win of the season. A 'Barrow' win against MeridianOn Tuesday, Oct. 17, Jennifer Barrow knew where to find open net.The junior forward scored a goal in regulation, then kicked the final net shot in an overtime shootout against Meridian to tie up the Falcons' fourth conference win of the season. The victory vaulted South Whidbey over Meridian in the North Cascade Conference standings, placing them solidly in third place and in the playoff picture.Barrow's goal off a first-half Jaime Dunsmore pass was enough to keep the game tied through two overtime periods. Falcon goalkeeper Kellie Horn kept it that way, making 21 saves during the game.In a sudden-death shootout, Jacki Gutzmer and Shannon Skouras got the Falcons started, putting balls past the Trojans' goalkeeper. As Horn held against the Trojan kickers in goal, Barrow finished the game with her final free kick.The Falcons are now 8-4 overall. They play today in an 11 a.m. game against Nooksack Valley at Waterman Field. "

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