By Ian Ferguson
The girls soccer team has had ups and downs so far this season, with a tough set of opponents to kick off league play.
After a string of strong performances before the start of league play, including a 3–0 shutout of Nooksack Valley, the Borderites lost in their first Northwest Conference (NWC) game of the season, and went on to tie Sedro-Woolley 3–3. Since then they lost a non-league game to Granite Falls and a NWC game to Lynden, bringing their NWC record to 0-2-1 and their overall record to 2-3-2.
Head coach Kelly Tuski said the team had a strong start in the game against Sedro-Woolley. Ashley Quesada scored all three of Blaine’s goals.
“Ashley blew us away with her shooting,” Tuski said. “Her performance kept us in the game. We found some things we needed to work on as a team such as transitioning through the midfield and building our passing from the backfield up to the attack.”
At Granite Falls September 19, the Tigers struck first with a goal three minutes in by Dayana Diaz, but Quesada answered four minutes later off an assist from Makayah Veliz. The game remained tied until just before the second half, when Granite Falls’ Spencer Wirkkala scored her first goal. Wirkkala went on to score two more goals late in the game for a final score of 4–1.
On the road at Lynden September 22, a few major defensive breakdowns led to a 3–0 shutout for the Borderites. Kelly was complimentary of Blaine goalkeeper Tessa Kelly’s performance.
“She played a really solid and mature game,” Kelly said.
Fourteen minutes into the game, Tessa Kelly stopped a penalty kick as well the rebound, but the third shot attempt found the back of the net, kicked in by Lynden’s Jasmyne Naria. At 33 minutes, Lynden’s leading scorer Peyton Fullner broke away to a one-on-one with the keeper and took a scoring shot from the 18.
Lynden’s final goal came in the 43rd minute, when Sierra Smith took a nice touch through two defenders and scored on a breakaway.
Despite the loss, Kelly said there were several positives to take away from the game.
“The girls worked hard, Makayah Veliz and Taylor Miller especially. They showed a lot of passion and leadership,” Kelly said. “The loss was disappointing, but we will be working on our defense in practice. The girls are committed and I’m optimistic for the rest of the season.”
The Borderites will travel to Squalicum for a league game this Thursday, September 24. The game begins at 4 p.m.