Kickers dropped by Granite

All the scoring came in the first half of Thursday’s Cascade League soccer game between Granite Falls and Coupeville.

In the first 40 minutes of action, Granite Falls High peppered Coupeville’s goal keeper Ashley Manker with 15 shots and the sophomore stopped all but three of them.

However, the Wolves managed to put just a pair of balls in the net in reply and dropped a tight 3-2 game to the Tigers.

“We’re getting better all the time,” Coupeville coach Kim Sherman said.

Granite Falls freshman Katie Cashman got the Tigers on the board at the 30 minute mark by putting a shot in the lower left corner of the net after a goal-crease scramble.

Manker made two good saves after a Granite Falls corner kick, but the third shot made it in for a 1-0 lead.

Cashman made the score 2-0 six minutes later, beating Manker once again, this time on a breakaway.

The Tigers’ defense had the Wolves bottled up for nearly half of the first half of play, and Coupeville didn’t have a shot on goal until nearly 29 minutes had elapsed.

In the final 10 minutes of action the Wolf offense went to work. Junior Lexi Hemphill made the score 2-1 with a goal at the 32-minute mark off an assist from Courtney Boyd.

“I wish we could have won, but we’ll get them the next time,” Hemphill said. “We played a lot better defense in the second half.”

Granite Falls captain Jannelle Jones put the Tigers ahead by two goals with another goal at the 37-minute mark, but Coupeville didn’t give up.

In the final two minutes of the first half, Hemphill weaved her way through the Tigers’ defenders and beat goal keeper Sarah Hensley with a shot to make the score 3-2.

“Lexi had an awesome game up front for us today,” Sherman said.

The second half was a defensive battle on both sides.

Granite Falls dispensed a lot of shots, 19 in all, but Manker was up to the task and made 14 saves.

“We have been focusing on our defense in practice and it just really shows,” Sherman said. “Every time we do something in practice, they just perform in the game.”

Coupeville’s offense sputtered in the second half getting off just two shots on goal, but Sherman said she was pleased with the team’s performance.

“They’re doing great and I’m really proud of them,” she said. “They are playing way above themselves.”

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