By Neil Macdonald
Lady Bs soccer reach Sweet 16
Blaines Lady B soccer side gained Sweet Sixteen State status as Holly Steckler, Kimberly Harmening and Ainsley Nix scored shootout goals in a 1-0 Lady B first-round District I victory over South Whidbey at Civic Stadium on November 9.
It was Blaines second shootout win in three games and goalkeeper Shela Robertsons ninth shutout in 19 outings. The Lady Bs record is 34 goals to 18 scored against them, almost a 2 to one ratio. Robertsons shot rejection abilities and the teams formidable defense explain the under a goal-a-game record.
Shutout Shela made two quality saves in the Falcon affair, stopping Claudia Gil-Osorios one-timer early in regulation play and a low bullet ball during the shootout that would have kept the Falcons in the fray.
SW keeper Allyson Riggs made a stellar series of stops for the Falcons, turning aside goal-seeking tries by Andrea Harmening, Linsey Taylor, Ashley Olason and Holly Steckler in regulation play.
In the shootout, Riggs went right on Stecklers up-the-middle shootout goal and right again on Kimberly Hs contribution that went to Riggs left. The agile SW keeper guessed correctly, diving right on Nixs goal, but Nix glanced the ball off the post, a foot above the grass, a spot no goalkeeper could cover in the balls travel time.
In the Lady Bs opening District set-to against Sultan, Andrea Harmening started the scoring at 60 minutes. Blaine coach Dan Steelquist described her goal, quite accurately, as creating something out of nothing.
Harmening, sharing space off Sultans left goal post with several Lady Turks, took a pass from the right, and controlling the ball, turned this way, that way and every which way before sending the ball on its own way into the Sultan net.
Heather Howard duplicated Andreas athletic antics six minutes later, running onto a low hard cross and one-touching it into the Blaine net at 66 minutes to tie things 1-1. Howard scored the winner three minutes into OT off a scramble in front of the O&B net.
The Blaine-Eatonville winner of November 13 will play the Meridian-Tenino winner of November 14 at Civic Stadium on November 16..
Bianchi to State
Scott Bianchi placed second in singles and Borderite duo Peter Moskovitz and Grant Sanders finished third in doubles as Blaine won the boys 2A Tri-District Tennis Championship at Pac-West Racquet Club in Federal Way on November 9.
Bianchi, who suffered his first loss of the season to Vashons Willis Barnes in the first Tri-D round on November 1, gained his Tri-D second placing with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Barnes in the backdraw final. The win gained Bianchi a trip to the 2A State tourney in Yakima in spring 2003.
Moskovitz and Sanders third spot finished came via a loss to a Steilacom doubles pair. The Borderite pair could advance to state as an alternate entry.
Error or Freudian Slip
Blaine defeated Granite Falls 3-0 at the Pipe on October 29 in girls soccer and not Sultan as erroneously reported in Neils Notes in our Oct. 31-Nov. 6 edition. Sorry Sultan, probably just wishful thinking.
Boys AAU Tourney
With Blaine hosting teams from Bellingham, Burlington, Burnaby (B.C.), Ferndale, Marysville, Mt. Baker and Nooksack the Blaine 7th and 8th grade boys AAU basketball tournament goes November 15-16-17 at Ken Waters Gym and the Big Orange. Games on November 15 start at 6 and 7:15 p.m. The first games on November 16 starts at 10 a.m. with the last game at 6:45 p.m. Action starts on November 17 at 10 a.m. with the championship game at 4 p.m..
over, better luck next year
Blaine went down 38-19 to the Turks in Sultan on November 9 in the ninth and final week of the 2002 North Cascades Conference football season for both teams.
Tailback Danny Le got the Borderites initial TD on a five-yard run. Bryan Galbraith passed for Blaines second, hitting Rhyan Lopez on a 15-yard QB-to-WR scoring play, and went over from a yard out for the Double Bs final TD.
The defeat, that left Blaine with a 0-8 NCC and 0-9 overall win-loss record, marked the end of a very long season for the Orange and Black.
It was, perhaps, the longest season for the Borderites nine seniors Shawn Brady, Kevin Farmer, Bob Francis, Kyle Green, Will Hamilton, Danny Le, Rhyan Lopez, Travis Porter and Dustin Sorter who ached and agonized, strained and trained their way through their last high school season. They were not packing away memories of a final year in the sun.
The four juniors, three sophomores and 19 freshmen who comprised this younger than springtime squad, at least, could entertain thoughts of a high school season or seasons yet to come.
It takes about three seasons to build a quality high school football team. Judging from the Seattle Seahawks, it takes about three decades. Maybe a millenium.
While the bumps and bruises of 2002 should pay a small dividend for Blaine in 2003, the compound interest from the added hit-and-be-hit experience of 2003 should couple with the effect of hard work and maturity to make the Borderites competitive in 2004.
In other words, from tiny sophs and freshmen, mighty seniors grow. Nature supplies some of the impetus. The rest is found on the practice field, in the weight room and during game experience. See ya in 03 and 04.