Sports

Falcon girls fall to soccer powerhouse AMHS

Falcon Paige Miller dances ahead of the Wildcats during South Whidbey’s final home game, a 6-1 loss to the league’s number one team.  - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Falcon Paige Miller dances ahead of the Wildcats during South Whidbey’s final home game, a 6-1 loss to the league’s number one team.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

LANGLEY — In its final home game of the 2008 season, the South Whidbey girls team went up against the soccer machine also known as Archbishop Murphy, losing 6-1.

Murphy, at 12-1 in the Cascade Conference and 13-1-1 overall, has clinched the 2A District 1 playoff berth. South Whidbey, 6-7 in the league and overall, remains in fourth place behind AMHS, Granite Falls and Cedarcrest.

Wildcat Melissa von der Hofen set the tone less than two minutes into the game with the first score on an assist by Lindsey Bos.

But then South Whidbey tightened its defensive tactics and was able to make some solid offensive drives until forward Karissa Thomas slammed the ball in — assisted by Gwen Bakke — for the Falcon’s lone goal of the night, a bit over two minutes before the first half ended.

Thomas, who was recently honored as “Athlete of the Week” by the Everett Herald, for her six goals in earlier wins over King’s and Sultan, struggled all night to get more points but was stymied by Murphy’s goalie.

For her part, Falcon goalie Natasha Kamps made a series of spectacular saves, twisting and turning when she wasn’t flying high to ward off potential goals.

“Natasha played one of her best games opposite a determined, polished team — one of the best in the state,” the coach noted.

The score was 3-1 in Murphy’s favor at the break.

“I think our girls played very strong until the second half,” said Falcon coach Paul Arand. “Later in the game, we tired a bit and with AMHS, if you let down your guard slightly, they will take advantage.”

He singled out Thomas, Morgan Thomson and Paige Miller on offense and Laura Barrow, Christine Johnson, Liz Adams and Stephanie Raymond on defense.

“Christine made some hops and bounds that fouled several Wildcat plays tonight,” Arand said. “Overall, I saw signs of hustle, determination and resilience in one of the best games we’ve played against Murphy.”

At the break, six seniors were honored by their parents and teammates — Bakke, Johnson, Raymond, Thomson, Thomas and German exchange student Katharina Hoefler.

At noon today, the Falcons travel to Coupeville for their final contest.

“This is one we have to win if we have a chance at a crossover game,” Arand said. “Four teams head to district and a victory means we’ll play the fourth seed in the Northwest Conference. I believe, and the girls certainly believe, we can do it.”

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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