No Contest

Coupeville couldn’t have faced a tougher opponent for the school’s first-ever girls soccer game.

On Thursday, the Wolves visited South Whidbey, home to a team that came within a shootout of winning the state championship game one year ago. The result was predictable: A 16-0 bloodletting that didn’t stop even when the Falcons rotated in younger players and put their starting goalkeeper in the field.

It was one of those rare games in which the scoring started early and never let up. It didn’t help that the Wolves scored South Whidbey’s first goal of the season themselves. Less than five minutes into the game, the Falcons took the lead on a mishandled Coupeville dish to the Wolves’ goalkeeper that bobbled into the net. But it was only a few more minutes before the Falcons got on the scoreboard with the first of four goals from junior forward Jenna Wild. And then, again, at the 22-minute mark on a Wild cross to junior midfielder Kaylee Baldwin.

Sophomore midfielder KelseyKimmel dribbled up the right side to loft a ball up and over the Wolves keeper, sliding down the upper left corner of the net with 12 minutes left in the first half. Then came the crossing shot from sophomore midfielder Emily Grove to Wild for the score.

Wild and Kimmel then closed the half by each scoring break-away solo goals.

The game went on like this into the second. By the time the referee blew the last, long whistle to end the game, Wild had her four goals, junior Nicole Falso had a hat trick, and junior Kaylee Baldwin and Kimmel each had two goals to their credit.

Any attempt in the game by Coupeville to push the ball past the 50 yard line was quickly stymied by a South Whidbey defense that was constantly on the offensive. The lone Wolves action at the Falcon goal came with just over five minutes left in the first half. A corner kick cleared out of the Coupeville half gave the Wolves a charge into the Falcon’s back 18 yards, but senior keeper Allyson Riggs came off her line and easily scooped up the ball.

Rita Jones, the lone Falcon defender returning from last year’s team, said the opening game was revealing for the defensive squad.

“We really were developing as the game went on,” she said. “We don’t have a stopper yet and her still looking to find our lineup.”

A heart-stopping moment in the second half came when Falso, a Coupeville defender and the Wolves’ goalkeeper collided and tumbled into the net, leaving the defender crunched and play stopped for minutes. Luckily the ball followed, giving the Falcons goal No. 9.

The game’s final result didn’t seem to give Falcon coach Paul Arand a good idea of his team’s potential, as the Wolves’ program is so new.

“It’s hard to tell where we’re at from this game,” he said. “I have to give Coupeville credit because it was one of the first games of their program.”

However, the game was important in that it gave South Whidbey its first go at another team full on.

“We talked at halftime about what we needed to do to be more successful, because we’re a young team and still have more to accomplish,” said Arand.

Today, the Falcons face former North Cascade Conference challenger rival Meridian in a a game at Meridian High School. The team remains on the road against Coupeville on Sept. 18, North Mason on Sept. 21, and Lakewood on Sept. 28. The Falcons come home Sept. 30 against Archbishop Murphy.

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