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Varsity, JV strike for wins
It was hard to tell who was more fearsome this week -- a group of seasoned South Whidbey junior varsity soccer players who have only lost four games in the past three seasons, or a reshuffled varsity lineup that shut out two conference opponents.
Playing Tuesday and Thursday, the Falcon girls lit fire to their season as the varsity team came back from two losses last week to even their record at 2-2. At the same time, the JV team continued its winning ways, going to 4-0.
For the varsity team, former defender and new midfielder Lena Ishii was the star, felling Lynden Christian almost singlehandedly by scoring two goals in a 3-0 Falcon road win. She then came home Thursday to score the opening and winning goal against Nooksack Valley in a 4-0 Pioneer route.
After watching his team lose two close games last week on little or no scoring, this week's relative deluge of pointmaking came as a relief to Falcon coach Paul Arand.
"The idea that we scored three or more goals in those games was really exciting," he said.
Equally exciting were the shutouts. Responsible were goalkeepers Allyson Riggs and Kellie Horn and defenders Kim Julius, Rita Jones, Willa Purser and Michelle Schorr. Arand gave special credit to Riggs, who turned away a shot in Thursday's game that looked as though it might tie the game in the early going.
Of the two games this week, Thursday's matchup was the bigger cliffhanger. Ishii's goal in the 20th minute took the score to 1-0. That score did not change until the last 10 minutes of the game, when three Falcons -- Katie Watson, Natalie Schmitt and Jenna Wild -- found the back of the net with scoring shots.
In JV action, the Falcons took their play to a level that was almost embarrassingly good. After winning tight games against Sultan, Meridian and Ferndale to open the season, the Falcons' second team pummeled Nooksack 13-1 Tuesday. JV coach Mike Cotton said he even played his team at a two-player disadvantage during the game's closing minutes to slow the blood letting.
"Fortunately we beat them, unfortunately we beat them badly," he said.
Powering the offense was junior Liz Jeffers, who had three goals on the day. Keeping the Pioneers at bay was a defensive unit led by Suzie Crouchon and Nicole Falso.
The Falcon JV squad was 8-2-2 last year, a record Cotton hopes to equal or better this year.
The Falcons play again at home next Tuesday against Mount Baker. JV action starts at 4 p.m., while the varsity team gets started at 6 p.m.