by Jack Kintner
Lady B’s hang up their cleats
The Lady B’s ended their season in district play last Friday at Lake Stevens with a 2-nil loss to Granite Falls. Coach Dan Steelquist was nonetheless proud of his girls, who finished the year at 8-11, 5-7 in league play.
“We didn’t know what kind of team we were going to be this year at the beginning,” Steelquist said, “and jelled into a unified and productive offensive machine.”
The B’s started five freshmen on the team. Aside from the compact but mobile and gutsy Janelle Gobbato, who’s mom once played in goal for Ferndale, two made all-league, the thunder-footed Bailey Richardson and the tireless and aggressive Bre Olason, and two others also managed to make a transition to varsity play that is a lot more than just being a year older. Both Kristen Elsbree and Carey Schmidt grew their games impressively, especially in terms of speed which is the big difference between play at this level and in middle school. Bailey was the team’s second leading goal scorer with 9, followed by the team’s lone sophomore Wren Baldwin with 6 and Olason with 5.
In the Meridian games, these girls played college-bound seniors evenly despite being just months out of middle school soccer. That’s not just a gap, that’s the Grand Canyon. The rest of the team coalesced well around the leadership of the squad’s two seniors Adrianne Dodgeson and especially her majesty, Katie Jordan. Jordan’s game improved over last year’s considerably, like someone put a little gas in the tank and hunger in the heart.
The happy duo of Alyssa Hendrickson, this year’s scoring champ with 15 as well as offensive player of the year, and her buddy Mackenzie Nix will lead a crop of nine seniors into the fray next year on a team that’s unified and eager.
Next year’s team will be mature, an ideal mix to take into a new league alignment that looks as if it was set up by throwing lists of schools into a blender. The Killer B’s will face schools like Bellingham, Sehome, Anacortes, Burlington-Edison and Lynden, all of whom, because of the way leagues are aligned, will be AA schools. Maybe. Things are still being worked on, but get used to shorter drives to bigger schools next year. In the meantime, as these girls discover what it’s like to have an afternoon off, get ready for basketball.