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Kickers pile it on against Cougars
After 40 minutes of soccer Thursday, it didn't look like the evening's matchup between South Whidbey and Lakewood was going anywhere.
Evenly matched in the first half at Waterman Field, the girls on the two teams spent most of the time battling near midfield, trying unsuccessfully to put together any kind of consistent offense. As this went on, the numbers on the scoreboard were frozen at 0-0, giving fans on either side of the field few reasons to stand and cheer.
The second half was a different story. Back on the field with the kind of intensity that the best halftime pep talks produce, freshman Jenna Wild and seniors Amy Barrow and Tanya Smart smashed through the scoring deadlock by putting up three scores within three minutes of the resumption of play -- giving the hometown crowd plenty of justification to stand up and yell.
The scoring streak opened the floodgates for an eventual 7-0 Falcon win largely fueled by Wild, who not only scored the first and winning goal, but went on to nail the first varsity hat trick of the season.
"It's really a good feeling," said Wild, who used low post shots to beat Lakewood's goalkeeping.
The half was the most prodigious in the history of South Whidbey girl's soccer as far as the team's coaches could remember. It also put the Falcons near the top of the heap in the North Cascades Conference. Now 6-2 on the season, the Falcons have only two clear rivals left in their way -- Lynden Christian and Sultan. The Falcons lost to both teams to start the season.
After Thursday's game South Whidbey coach Paul Arand has good reason to believe his girls will stay near or at the top for the remainder of the season. In spite of a lackluster start, they found the inspiration to come back big time.
"We started playing harder," Arand said of the second half.
In all, South Whidbey kickers sent 39 shots at Lakewood's goal, with the last -- a low Kim Julius smoker off a Rita Jones assist -- finding the back of the net in the 78th minute.
In goal, Allyson Riggs turned back several Lakewood assaults that seemed to have promise in the first half; senior Kellie Horn kept the South Whidbey net unblemished in the second half.
In junior varsity action, South Whidbey maintained its winning streak, taking the team's record to 7-0 in a 4-1 win. Scoring for the Falcons were Britt Hansen, who netted two, Jessica Burgess and Nicole Falso.
The Falcons are back in action today at home, where they play Meridian at 2 p.m. The JV game starts at noon.