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Islanders take home titles | Soccer

The Islanders GU15 team won their division at the Marysville tournament last weekend. Front row, left to right: Autumn Coker, Natalie Merrill, Lydia Peplinski, Brianna Garcia, Bailee Cowan, Cloe Amsler, Sage Renniger and Emma Lerch. Back row, left to right: Courtney Coker, Cassie Neil, Ally Henry, Gillian Crossley, Emily Brown, Kayla Wiley, Carlie Rosenkrance, Ebony Campbell, Mattea Miller and coach Ryan Baker. - Photo by Suzanne Neil
The Islanders GU15 team won their division at the Marysville tournament last weekend. Front row, left to right: Autumn Coker, Natalie Merrill, Lydia Peplinski, Brianna Garcia, Bailee Cowan, Cloe Amsler, Sage Renniger and Emma Lerch. Back row, left to right: Courtney Coker, Cassie Neil, Ally Henry, Gillian Crossley, Emily Brown, Kayla Wiley, Carlie Rosenkrance, Ebony Campbell, Mattea Miller and coach Ryan Baker.
— image credit: Photo by Suzanne Neil

Islanders soccer teams won two divisions in the Marysville Strawberry Classic Tournament last weekend, Aug. 2-4.

The GU18 Islanders defended their title with two wins in three matches, and the GU15 Islanders swept their four matches to reach the winners’ circle.

The GU18 club wrapped up the crown with a pair of 3-0 wins Saturday. With the title secure, coach Sean LeVine changed things up for Sunday’s match.

He said, “No other team could catch us in points, so we had fun and moved some players around to unfamiliar positions. We lost 2-1 despite dominating them in all other stats.”

Kendra Warwick led the team with three goals in the tournament, with Tori Wellman, Zoe Bassett, Micky LeVine and Anni Field picking up one each. For Wellman and Bassett, it was their first goals as Islanders.

Keeper Makenzie Perry held opponents scoreless for two-and-a-half matches, LeVine said, with “help from our stellar back four.”

Jacalyn Hefflefinger, Chelsea Atkinson and Field took part as guest players, LeVine said, to fill in for injured and vacationing Islanders.

The GU15 team, coached by Ryan Baker, had to overcome an odd schedule, its nemesis and the host team to take the title.

The Islanders played only one match Friday and none Saturday before a busy Sunday.

In the opening match, the Islanders cruised to a 4-0 win, then they nipped their arch rivals, the Orange Cheetahs, 2-1 in a physical match.

A 1-0 win in a defensive struggle in the third game earned the Islanders a spot in the title match, where they beat host and tournament favorite Marysville “A” 2-1.

Lydia Peplinski scored four goals in the tournament, Jill Crossley added three and Emma Lerch and Alyson Henry one each.

First-year player Ebony Campbell manned the goal.

Coach Baker said, “This championship was a total team effort and every player contributed.”

He added, “Select soccer is huge and for our small club from North Whidbey with three players from Central Whidbey and one from South Whidbey, respectively, to get such a result was pleasantly surprising.

“We’ve developed a new formation and identity for our play. The girls bought in and we had some bounces go our way. (That) led to a fantastic weekend of soccer. All praise goes to the players.”

The tournament closed out the summer for the clubs as the players head off to play for their school teams. The Islanders start up again after the high school season.

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