Wildcats are playoff bound

"The last time the girls from Oak Harbor went to the post season in soccer, Randy Johnson was still a Mariner, Michael Jordan was still winning championships in Chicago and the MLS was just starting out, again. But the Cats clinched their first playoff berth in five years Saturday, knocking off former division leader Cascade, 5-3. The team earned a number two seed with the victory and now takes a five-game win streak into the first round of the playoffs against the third ranked Kingco team, Eastlake (7-1-4). The game will be played at Memorial Stadium in Oak Harbor Saturday at 7 p.m.It was a really intense game, said coach Guy Barber of the Cascade showdown. It went back and forth and back and forth, speed against speed. But the girls played really well.Although the scoring by Cascade (7-2-1, 13-2-1) ended the Wildcats' four game shutout streak, the defense played just as well as they did in the previous games, according to Barber. They always play well, said Brooke Severns. We have a really good defense. With the confidence that the entire team has in their defense, Severns feels that they will step up even more in the playoffs with the atmosphere and with what is at stake.The entire team managed to keep up in a fast-paced game and style of play that the Wildcats (7-2-1, 12-2-1) are not usually accustomed to.It was just a matter of they got tired and we didn't, said Barber.The difference in the game for Oak Harbor was the scoring of Nikki Gamble, who scored two goals, one in play and the other on a penalty kick. Everyone was just pumped up and we were playing really well off each other, said Gamble. [My teammates] were really encouraging.The Wildcats also got a goal from Severns, who scored her fourth gaol in the last four games game. Katy Nydam and Molly Bull also added goals for the Wildcats.I think we just need to go in hard and keep up the intensity, said Severns when asked about scoring in the playoffs. If we don't let down we will do it. Gamble, a senior and captain on the team, notices differences between her team this season from teams in the past. I think our team, as a whole, we have a common goal, said Gamble. We just all really want this really bad. In the past it has been maybe just a handful of girls want to go on and the rest don't really care. We are a lot more skilled this year than we have been in the past.We have grown up together and that team unity really helps, said Severns. Although there is the specter of not knowing what to expect when it comes to the pressures of post-season play, the entire team is excited about moving on. It's a new experience for us since we haven't gone in a while, said Gamble. But hopefully we can be successful. "

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