After a lackluster first half, the South Whidbey High School soccer team erupted for three second-half goals to defeat visiting Chimacum 3-0 Saturday, Sept. 8.
“We started out flat and the Chimacum team was beating us to 50-50 balls and playing a strong defensive game,” coach Terry Swanson said. “We were not defending aggressively in their half, and we were slow in closing down on marks and cutting off easy passing lanes.
“We had nine shots on goal in the first half, but most of these came from outside the 18.“
The second half was a different story.
Kelly Murname got the Falcons on the board at the 45-minute mark with an aggressive attack.
Makenna Wicher assisted on Ashley Ricketts’ goal at the 62-minute mark with a nice square pass.
Samantha Ollis finished the scoring with a 30-yarder.
Chimacum battled to the final seconds, Swanson said.
“They had three direct shots on goal from within 12 yards,” he said. “Our goalkeeper Nicole Helseth was outstanding in preserving the shutout.”
The highlight of the match, according to Swanson, was Helseth’s save on a direct penalty kick with 15 minutes remaining. Helseth stopped the kick and then the rebound shot.
“Although it was not our best-played game, our players stepped it up when they were being challenged and should be proud of their second win this season,” Swanson said. “I am particularly impressed with the play of our freshmen (Ashton Helseth, Kailey Ricketts, Makenna Wicher, Molly Cobbs and Sydney Ollis) at the start of the season.”
The freshmen played significant minutes because the Falcons were missing two injured starters, Alison Papritz, who scored three goals in South Whidbey’s season-opening win earlier this week, and Karyna Hezel.
Several times during the Chimacum match, all five freshmen were on the field at the same time for extended minutes.
“After the game I told the players that they need to come out stronger against Cedar Park Christian on Tuesday, as this is a conference game and counts toward their pursuit of making the playoffs this season,” Swanson said. “These players have worked hard, and I have no doubt they will be ready for challenge.”