Falcons kick in OT

Behind visiting Meridian by two goals with 18 minutes to go, the Falcon girls needed something to break loose Saturday afternoon.

Make that someone.

Continuing their pattern as a second-half team, South Whidbey took the game down to the last few minutes -- as they have already done several times this year -- before tying the contest, then sending it to a successful, sudden-death overtime on Waterman Field that yielded a 3-2 win and put the Falcons in a tie for first place in the North Cascades Conference.

Senior Tanya Smart and freshman Katie Watson provided the regulation-time firepower, getting feet on the soccer ball for two unassisted goals in the 62nd and 71st minutes. Then, as if to prolong the agony, the South Whidbey girls danced through almost two complete, five-minute overtime periods with the Trojans before junior Natalie Schmidt put the game away with 10 seconds to go. Her crossing corner kick sailed high to snag the corner of the Trojan net, earning the win and taking her team to 7-2 overall.

Though it all worked out in the end, Falcon coach Paul Arand said he'd like a faster start in future games.

"I wish we were a first-half team," he said.

Other than in the area of scoring, the Falcons played solidly for 80 minutes of regulation time. South Whidbey strikers outshot the Trojans 35-11, while senior defender Michelle Schorr shut down Meridian's top scoring threat, Katie Johnson. Johnson scored three goals against the Falcons in the team's previous meetings, but nothing on Saturday. Allyson Riggs held on for the complete-game victory in goal, thanks in part to additional defensive efforts from Lena Ishii and Rita Jones.

The Falcons traveled to a showdown against Sultan Tuesday, the team with which the Falcons share first place in the NCC. If they win that game, they will be in sole possession of first place.

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