By Nathan Whalen
Special to the News-Times
After losing two games to Ferndale during the regular season, Oak Harbor High School’s girls soccer team earned a victory against the Golden Eagles Oct. 28 to advance to the semifinals of the District 1 3A tournament.
“We pulled it off finally,” Coach Mike Lonborg said of the Wildcats’ 3-2 victory.
Oak Harbor got on the scoreboard first when junior Audrey Hart got a goal off an assist from junior Addison Boyer at around 20 minutes into the contest.
Ferndale eventually tied and then took the lead 2-1 in the first half.
With about five minutes remaining in the first half, Oak Harbor tied the game with a goal from Boyer.
“We had to make some defensive changes,” Lonborg said.
After halftime, senior defender Anna Suto was tasked with guarding Ferndale’s Emily Holdridge, who had been giving the Wildcats difficulties. He added that Suto, along with a couple of her teammates, shut Holdridge down.
With about 15 minutes remaining in the game, sophomore midfielder Maddie Mays sent a through ball to Boyer, who scored Oak Harbor’s game-winning goal, Lonborg said. He added both Oak Harbor and Ferndale were evenly matched with talented players, but in different spots.
Oak Harbor played Ferndale twice in the regular season but came up short losing 2-1 both times.
The Wildcats started the District 1 tournament with a play-in game Oct. 26 hosting Wesco Conference’s Arlington.
After two scoreless 40-minute periods and two scoreless, five-minute overtime periods, Oak Harbor got past Arlington in penalty kicks and earned the victory.
“Arlington had a really strong defense,” Lonborg said of the Eagles, who finished the season with a 7-6-4 record and earned the 11 seed in the District 1 tournament.
Lonborg highlighted the efforts of Oak Harbor’s defense, including goalkeeper Lauren Marrs, who stopped one of Arlington’s penalty kicks. He added that Mays, Boyer, junior Jayde Linson, and sophomore Mia McGaha hit their penalty kicks.
Oak Harbor traveled to Shoreline Tuesday after the News-Times went to press to play Shorecrest in the District 1 semifinals. The Highlanders have a 14-3 record and finished second in the Wesco Conference.
“They’re a well-coached team and they have a lot of club players,” Longborg said. He added Oak Harbor has to play at full intensity as a team for all 80 minutes of the game against Shorecrest.
The winner of Tuesday’s game earns a trip to the finals as well as a spot in the state tournament, while the loser goes to play in one of two consolation games. The winners of the consolation games also earn a spot in the state tournament.