Sports

Wildcats show force in Wesco North

Tina Nicolas works the ballwhile fighting off an Arlington player. - Cynthia Woolbright
Tina Nicolas works the ballwhile fighting off an Arlington player.
— image credit: Cynthia Woolbright

Oak Harbor girls soccer continues to be a dominating force in the Wesco North.

Oct. 5 the Cats made a weekend play and beat Stanwood 2-0. They faced Snohomish Oct.8, and kept the Panthers scoreless for the majority of the game. Sophomore Katie Schoeffling’s strong defensive showing helped keep the ball out of the Oak Harbor back 18 and junior midfielder Kari Goebel helped keep the pressure up in the Snohomish half, according to Coach Gretchen Hanson.

“We were playing the ball quick and really switching the field,” Hanson said.

But in the last 10 minutes Snohomish scored two points off two corner kicks with what Hanson called “beautiful back headers.” Snohomish has been rocking between the one and two spot in Wesco North.

Thursday on their home green Oak Harbor put the pressure on Arlington and won 2-1.Goalkeeper Sheena Paddock didn’t get much action in the first half, as Oak Harbor’s defense and midfield kept the ball pressed into the Arlington 50.

At the 24-minute mark, Gretyl Pruss put the first tally on the board for Oak Harbor. At first the players and the crowd weren’t sure of the score for the Wildcats, but soon the ref confirmed the entire ball had crossed the goal line.

Oak Harbor continued the pressure play in the Arlington half with a shot on goal by Kari Goebel that made the cross bar ring. The Wildcat midfield didn’t give Arlington much slack past the 50-yard line. Working the outsides, and giving great through balls, Oak Harbor dominated the Arlington six-yard box. The Arlington defense was doing everything it could to get the Cats out, which allowed Oak Harbor to put corner kick pressure on the Snohomish keeper around the 16 minute mark.

Kaylea Kingma placed a free kick just right at 14 minutes, and Gretyl Pruss capitalized, placing one in the back of the net for Oak Harbor’s second goal of the night.

Arlington didn’t get much rest in the first half, as Oak Harbor remained in the visitor’s territory. The Cats tested the Arlington defense and goalkeeper’s nerves as they played in front of their goal, and even had a ball trickle right in front of the Arlington goal line at nine minutes.

Coming into the second half, Oak Harbor didn’t allow the ball within their own 18-yard box for the first 10 minutes of the half.

Wanting to remind the Cats they still had opponents in the game, Arlington’s lone goal came off a corner kick at 25 minutes.

Oak Harbor followed it up by reminding Arlington there was more than one Pruss in the game with freshman Abby Pruss’ shot on goal attempt at 22 minutes.

Arlington worked the Wildcat defense and goalkeeper in the last ten minutes of the game. Hazel Sapida, Kingma and the Cats’ defense and stopped any attempt for Arlington to tie it up and pull it to overtime was foiled.

Looking for the icing for their victory cake, off a Kingma freekick Jenny White offered a shot on goal at five minutes that sailed just over the Arlington crossbar. Ath less than two minutes to go White broke away and went one-on-one with the Arlington keeper.

The Wildcats ended the evening 2-1. Oak Harbor meets Marysville-Pilchuck Oct. 15.

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