Rage win shootout to take first at Baker Blast

The Whidbey Islanders FC under-15 girls soccer team was able to overcome an opening day loss to take the first-place trophy in their group at the Baker Blast soccer tournament held in Bellingham last weekend.

The squad, known as the Rage, knocked off the Whatcom Rangers Blue team 3-1 in penalty kicks in the championship game on Sunday. The Rage lost to the same squad 4-0 in their opening contest on Friday.

“They were pretty excited,” said Rage head coach Mike Thornton. “The worked pretty hard and they didn’t do to well on Friday because of the heat, but they picked it up and really wanted to win.”

After the loss on Friday, the Rage tied the Whatcom Rangers White squad 2-2 on Saturday morning. The Rage was in danger of dropping the match but Ashli Melcher score the equalizer in the last few minutes to tie the game. The Rage where then able to make it to Sunday’s title game with a 3-1 triumph over Black Hills FC on Saturday afternoon.

In the rematch with Whatcom Rangers Blue on Sunday, the contest was tied 1-1 after regulation and overtime forcing the game to go to penalty kicks. The Rage scored on kicks by Sam Shulock, Maile McCumber and Melcher, while goaltender Sabrina Epstein was able to stop several by the Rangers giving the Rage the win.

The Baker Blast, in its 12th year of competition, brought together 150 of the Northwest’s top boys and girls soccer teams at Bellingham’s Northwest Soccer Park. The Rage head to Portland for their next summer tournament, the PCU Summer Classic. League play for the squad begins in mid-September.

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