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Soccer Shockers beat Chili Dogs 3-1
The U-12 girl Soccer Shockers of South Whidbey ended their undefeated season by downing the Mukilteo Chili Dogs 3-1 in pea-soup fog in the Mukilteo Turkey Shoot Sunday at Everett's Kasch Park.
The Shockers (10-0) had only one goal scored against them all year.
The championship game was scoreless after 60 minutes, forcing two 2½-minute overtimes.
Since a tie isn't allowed at this level, "Each team picked a goalie and five kickers, lined up at mid-field, stepped into the penalty box and kicked the ball," Shocker forward Makenzie Peterson recalled.
"We got three in, they had one and the game was over," she said.
A thick mist swirled over the field all day.
"It was strange playing in the fog because when you kicked the ball up-field you were never sure which team would get it," Grace Swanson said.
"I play on defense and whenever the ball was across the field I couldn't see any of the action," she added.
The Shocker's march to victory started out badly the first day -- the Yakima Tigers scratched out a 1-0 win in a very close, hotly contested game.
But the young Shockers weren't discouraged as they came back to win the second game 3-0 against the less-than-sparkling North Shore Crystals.
In the third contest early Sunday morning, the Silver Eagles were knocked from their perch 2-0, allowing the Shockers a chance to play in the championship game.
A year ago, the Shockers beat and tied the Chili Dogs, once each.
"It was exciting to have a chance to play them again," Coach Sonya Peterson commented.
"It was a close, hard-fought game all the way," she said.
"The girls played as hard in this game as they played in the first three games even though we all knew they had to be tired. Not once did anyone complain," the coach said. "During the shoot-out the team and coaches on the sidelines held our collective breath."
The coach's daughter, Makenzie, has been playing soccer since the first grade, or five years now.
The team's trophy is on display in Langley Middle School.
"My brother in the third grade will see it when he starts here," Makenzie said. "That's pretty cool."
Even as the final game remained scoreless, forward Amanda Lutsock, 12, said her coaches told her to "Run my heart out, but have fun, even though it was hard to see anything. It feels good to be the first girls to win a Turkey Shoot."
The Whidbey Island Youth Soccer Association is comprised of two clubs (one north, one south) that provide an avenue for all youth to play, from recreational events up to a serious competitive level. Assistant Coach Terry Swanson noted some districts field up to 27 teams per age group.
"We only have one team but always do very well. It's a combination of an incredible work ethic and parents who really care," Swanson said.
He emphasized the commitment in time and effort it takes from the whole family. "My daughter is dancing in 'Nutcracker Suite' on top of soccer and school. They're all very busy."
Peterson continues to be impressed at how much her athletes improved, their grace under pressure and how they all played as a team.
"It was a pleasure to watch these 17 girls meld together as friends and teammates," she said.