The Borderite girls’ varsity soccer team scored quickly and often in a 7-0 rout of Nooksack High School at Pipeline Field on Thursday, September 6.
“I am proud of our goal production and overall defensive play, but any time you hold a worthy opponent [Nooksack] scoreless you have to acknowledge your goalkeeper,” said Dan Steelquist, Blaine’s head soccer coach for the past 16 years. “Shirin Roth-Lerner’s play was just outstanding.”
Blaine’s senior forward Liz Berry, with an assist by Ashley Quesada, scored the first of her two goals during the first minute of play.
“Berry knows how to shape her passes to teammates and her shots on goal,” Steelquist said. “She puts spin on the ball to keep it away from defenders and zooms it around goalies.”
Hope Wilkett, the high-scoring senior forward, scored the first of her three goals at the 22-minute mark of the 40-minute first half. “I have been playing soccer since grade school,” Wilkett said. “Even though I have tried other sports I like soccer the best because you can play hard, and I am always working on improving my skills.”
Olivia Olason, junior middle fielder, scored using a booming kick after an assist pass from senior Nicole Statham. “I am surprised Olason hasn’t scored more as she has one of the most powerful kicks on the team,” Steelquist said, right after Olason’s rocket shot passed the Nooksack goalkeeper.
At halftime, Steelquist emphasized to the girls the need to keep moving even when they are not in touch with the ball. “I want you to use quick passes and shots before Nooksack defense has a chance to get set up,” he told them.
The girls responded to the coach’s words of wisdom with Wilkett scoring again in the first minute of the second half at the 41-minute mark. This made it 4-0 in Blaine’s favor, and the rout was on. On this last goal sophomore Emily Roe had the first of her three assists. “I have been playing soccer for 11 years,” Roe said. “I take great pride in knowing that I can get it to a teammate who is in position to score.” It is easy for this sports reporter to see why Roe led the team in assists with three.
Berry made it 5-0 at the 49-minute mark. Wilkett used a nifty crossover dribble to score her last goal. The timekeeper clock showed the 71-minute mark. Both goals were set up on an assist by Roe. With Roe maybe thinking it was her turn to score, she put a highlight reel perfect header into the Nooksack net after a perfect corner kick from Berry. “I have played soccer for 12 years,” Berry said. “In my early years I played defense. Defense makes you very aggressive. That’s why I am a ‘go, get after it,’ fearless forward.”
This spectacular play during the final 80th minute ended the scoring and the game with Blaine winning 7-0.
“We won with great team communication and team play,” Steelquist said, during his final remarks to the team. “This should give us confidence for upcoming league play.”
The girls are scheduled to play September 13 at Lynden Christian, and September 18 at Nooksack. Their next home game is September 26 against Anacortes at Pipeline Field.