The buzz in the pregame crowd on was how lucky we were to have such mild, dry fall weather. On Tuesday, October 9, the girls’ soccer team went up against the powerhouse Squalicum team some say is the best in the Northwest Conference.
“Even though we lost, I am really proud of our girls,” head coach Dan Steelquist said. “We had two 20-minute stretches where we played better or at least on par with the strong Squalicum team that had not given up a goal in their last six games.”
Defense was paramount the first 21 minutes, when both sides cross-checked hard and played the ball safely to prevent goal-scoring breakaways. The Borderites held their own.
Starting at the 22-minute mark, play shifted into the area in front of the Blaine goalkeeper, senior Anna Hewitt. Hewitt made several saves, tallying seven over the course of the game. But at the 24:12 mark, Squalicum’s Kim Dorr scored on an assist from Loran Gibb.
Then just eight minutes later, Leigha Schjelderup added another, with an assist by Kim Hazlett.
Hazlett went on to score twice in the second half.
At halftime, Steelquist told the girls he was encouraged to see them play at the other team’s level.
“We just need to concentrate on what we practiced this week,” he said. “This is a really good team we are playing, and you are holding your own. You have developed this season to where we can play with anyone.”
The Borderites sensed Steelquist’s belief in his team and responded by scoring within the first two minutes of the half.
Senior Alicia Allison put a precision shot into the back of the net after receiving a well-placed pass from freshman Ashley Quesada.
Allison’s goal kick-started Hazlett and the rest of the Storm offense, which went on to beat the Borderites 4-1.
“Even in defeat against a well balanced, bigger 2A school team, we stayed organized in the back defense area, did not panic and we properly pushed the ball down field on the outside,” Steelquist said.
“I feel privileged to coach these girls. They listen, care and perform. These fundamentals will help us in our 1A competition and the district playoffs.”
Blaine next plays Sedro-Woolley at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 18, at Pipeline Field.