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Near-perfect kickers make state
Having played beautiful soccer through three beautiful fall months, two South Whidbey youth soccer teams had some good fortune and good weather to end their seasons.
The U-12 girls Tsunamis and the U-11 boys Islanders both qualified for state tournament play after going unbeaten during the regular season. And after the first round of play in the statewide President's Cup tournament, the Islanders still have a chance at winning it all.
Jacob Doss, who is in his first season of coaching the Islanders, said his team -- which compiled a 9-0-1 regular season record -- needs four more victories to become the state's top team. Last weekend, the Islanders beat an Edmonds-Lynwood U-11 team 3-0 and a Marysville team 2-0 in the first round of President's Cup play in Everett. Next Saturday, the boys travel to Bellingham for two days of play that could put them in a title game.
"These guys come out to play soccer," Doss said of his team, which plays in the recreation division of South Whidbey's youth soccer program.
Strong on defense, the Islanders have had only two goals scored on them this season. At the same time, the team's strikers have put up as many as seven goals in a game to preserve a near-perfect record. The team's only tie this season came on a 0-0 score.
When the Islanders get to Bellingham, they will start play in a noon game Dec. 7 against a Kitsap team. The tournament's championship game will take place the next day.
Islander Cole Erikson said his team has the right attitude for their next big step.
"We want to win," he said.
For the Tsunamis, President's Cup play was not so kind. After building an 11-0-1 regular season record, they won a game against a Briar team 6-0 and lost a second 2-1 to an Edmonds team in the first round of the tournament and did not qualify for more play.
But, said team coach Karen Lennon, her girls were almost unstoppable through September, October and November. Opposing teams were able to score only three goals against the Tsunamis, two of which came in the team's 2-2 tie with a Snohomish team.
Lennon said the girls' ability to play together was the secret of their success.
"They have great teamwork," she said.
During the season, the Tsunamis outscored opponents by an average of four goals per game, Lennon said.