Sports

Oak Harbor soccer team wins two

"The Wildcat soccer team only managed to put two balls in the back of their opponent’s goal this week, but thanks to their tenacious defense the Cats earned victories over both Sehome and Shorecrest, 1-0, to pull into third place. “We dominated play but we just couldn’t hit the back of the net,” said head coach Guy Barber. “Their keeper (Susie Thompson of Sehome) just played a good game.” Unlike past games where the Cats’ goal keepers made great plays, Oak Harbor’s mid-fielders stepped up and played great defense. The stalemate in the Sehome game was fierce in the first half, with no one coming close to a score and with most of the action staying toward the middle of the field. In the second half Barber changed up his play calling, which resulted in multiple shots on goal.The only goal against Sehome (2-6-1, 4-10-1) that the Wildcats would get came in the 63rd minute of the game as Gretyl Pruss knocked one past the Mariners. On Tuesday, Oak Harbors’ (6-2-1, 11-2-1) shutout streak almost came to an end against Shorecrest because of lack of communication and focus.“Against Shorecrest we had the poorest defense we have had all year,” said Barber. “We still held them because our strong defense in the mid-field and we played excellent defense on the back-line.”Barber says a couple of reasons that the team is playing so well right now is the confidence of Kristin Harvey and the play of Lesley Tepaske. Tepaske took Hazel Sapida’s spot when Jaime Diaz went down with an injury earlier this the season and Sapida was moved to Diaz’s spot. “Ever since we made that move our defense has been tremendous,” said Barber. “She (Topaske) is the nicest person that you will ever meet, but she turns into a different person on the field.”Barber also commented that Sapida is another one of the reasons that the team is doing so well.“If she doesn’t get first team (all conference) I will be surprised,” said Barber. Although Diaz is set to return to practice and game play this week, Barber says that he doesn’t want to make a big change right now and compromise the play of any of his players. The wins give Oak Harbor a lot of momentum going into their home game against Cascade (7-1-1, 13-1-1) today.“This year we have to play the No. 1 team in Cascade to get in,” said Barber. “They play kick and run and we play a short game. Most teams play their style. If we can collect long balls, before they run through, we will win.” The coach has a lot of confidence in his team’s ability to execute the game plan.“They have a strong defense and we will have to be patient,” said Barber. “We have to make their defense commit to one side of the field.” If the Cats can get past Cascade they will take their winning streak right into Districts, but if they lose they will need help to advance. "

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