Courageous ’Cats battle Tomahawks

Everything from an auto accident to on-field injuries depleted the Oak Harbor High School soccer roster.

As coach Steve Barker said before the kickoff Thursday evening, “If you can name it, we’ve had it.”

As a result, just 11 varsity players were available for the WesCo North matchup against Marysville-Pilchuck.

Augumented by call ups from the junior varsity, those 11 players took the field and what a game the team played.

Coming on the heels of six straight WesCo North defeats, the courageous Wildcats pulled together as a team and battled the Tomahawks to a 2-2 tie in overtime.

“That was not only tough soccer out there tonight, that was tough people,” Barker said. “They’ve earned my respect.”

Playing conditions at Wildcat Memorial Stadium were absolutely miserable.

Windblown rain fell the nearly the entire 90 minutes and by midway through the first half, players on both sides looked more like they’d been playing water polo than soccer.

Roni Tomlin put the first goal in the net for the Wildcats just three minutes into the game but sure enough approximately 10 minutes

later she went out with an ankle injury forcing Barker to shuffle the lineup again.

Trainer Trevor Reed took the junior midfielder into the locker

room for some repair work and she was back on the field before the end of the first half.

Hannah Wood tied the score for the Tomahawks and with the rain falling even harder, if that was possible, Kassandra Riozzi gave Marysville-Pilchuck a 2-1 lead with three minutes remaining before the break beating Oak Harbor goal keeper Kelli Roberts with a shot off a feed from Wood.

The score remained tied until the 65-minute mark when Oak Harbor’s Hope Thompson was tripped on a breakaway heading for the Tomahawks’ goal.

The result was a penalty kick and senior Brooke Dewitt put a hard shot in the net past keeper Skyler Peterson to tie the score.

“It was nice to make that goal,” DeWitt said. “It was a long game and we played really well. We capatilized when we needed to on the penalty kick and scored.”

After that, the game belonged to the defense and Roberts made several key saves as regular time expired and again during the two 5-minute overtime periods.

“It wasn’t just me though, our entire team played really good and that’s what kept us in it,” she said.

The Tomahawks peppered Roberts with 32 shots on goal during the game.

“Kelli is my player of the game,” Barker said. “Lots of others put in a whale of an effort tonight and this has been a long time coming. We deserved this tonight and we got one for the gimpers.”

Oak Harbor (1-6-1) returns to action today, hosting Cascade in a 1 p.m. game at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

WesCo North Soccer

Games through Sept. 27

Team League W L T

Snohomish 7-0-1

Everett 7-1-0

Marysville-Pilchuck 4-2-2

Lake Stevens 3-3-2

Stanwood 3-3-2

Arlington 2-5-1

Monroe 2-5-1

Cascade 2-6-0

Oak Harbor 1-6-1

Scores Sept. 27

Oak Harbor 2, Marysville-Pilchuck 2

Cascade 1, Arlington 0

Everett 3, Lake Stevens 1

Snohomish 3, Monroe 0

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