Sports -- November 06, 2003

Published on Thu, Nov 6, 2003
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Soccer team to take on South Whidbey

Blaine�s girls have turned it up a notch or two since a one-nil shootout loss to Mt. Baker a week ago last Tuesday, putting together a three-game winning streak that will have them finishing no worse than second at the Mount Vernon districts, putting them into the state tournament for the second year in a row.

Sultan, defeated by Blaine Tuesday night 1-0 on freshman forward Alyssa Hendrickson�s 14th-minute goal, must now beat Nooksack in a loser-out game for third place to get the chance to defend its state title.

Hendrickson, who has scored four of Blaine�s six goals in the last three games, got three of them in a natural hat trick last week as the visiting Borderites defeated Granite Falls 4-0 in the final match of the regular season. Senior keeper Shela Robertson notched her eighth shut-out of the season in a game delayed one day by a power outage.

Blaine senior Jennah Makalai, off Kimberly Harmening�s assist, opened the scoring in the 14th minute of the first period.Hendrickson�s first two goals came in rapid succession at the 27th and 28th minutes, assisted first by MacKenzie Nix and a few seconds later by her older sister Ainsley. Hendrickson�s third goal came seven minutes into the second half on an assist by Kristina Francis.

The win earned Blaine a tie for second place in the final league standings with Sultan, last year�s state champs, but a coin flip was used instead of a playoff game to determine seeding for the post-season tourney. Blaine lost the toss and as the third seed began NCC tournament play at noon last Saturday in Mount Vernon.

And who should the opponent be but the last team to beat them, Mt. Baker. An undaunted coach Dan Steelquist said it for the team when he expressed determination, not disappointment: �This is how we get there. We could have guaranteed ourselves an easier route with more wins during the season, but that�s okay.� On a cold pitch Blaine prevailed one-nil on a shoot-out as keeper Shela Robertson notched her ninth shut-out.

Next came last year�s state champ Sultan, whose depth comes from the years many of its girls play in the active and well-supported Sky River Youth Soccer program.

�It was a great high school game,� said a happy coach Steelquist after the win. Alyssa Hendrickson scored the game�s only goal at the 14th minute of the first half on a gutsy assist from Andrea Harmening. Racing down the left touchline and in deep to the lefthand corner, Harmening juked by two Turk defenders and crossed a centering pass to Hendrickson, who poked it to the left around her marker and then hammered it home to the right of the keeper.

�It was a classic, well-made goal,� said Steelquist, �and a great high school game, well-played on both sides.� Sultan must now beat Nooksack for third place to have a chance to defend their title. The Borderites, now 13-5, play the undefeated Falcons of South Whidbey Saturday at 2 p.m. at Mount Vernon high school for the district championship. Falcon standout Claudia Gil-Osorio has apparently recovered from an illness that recently hospitalized her for three days.

Directions to Mount Vernon
Take I-5 south to exit 227, College Way. Turn left (east) at the stoplight 12 blocks to Riverside Drive (major intersection). Turn right (south), go up the hill as Riverside becomes 4th, and watch for Fulton (just before you cross the freeway). Turn left (east) and the high school is about five blocks, soccer field is on the east side. Good luck, Borderites!

Borderites lose eighth straight, look to win final home game

Blaine�s next-to-last game of the season reflected coach Dave Fakkema�s problem of needing to replace young but injured starters with even younger players as Lakewood handed Blaine its eighth straight loss 55-0 last Friday at Lakewood. But even so, all clouds have a silver lining.

First, the out-manned Borderites rose to the occasion after a devastating 29-point first quarter, holding Lakewood�s offense to just four more touchdowns for the rest of the game while managing to generate over a hundred yards on offense.

Second, the C team closed out its season last Tuesday night with a come-from-behind 20-14 victory over Granite Falls, completing a pass for a two-point conversion after its third touchdown. It finished its season at seven wins and only one loss.

Blaine closes out its varsity season tomorrow night at home against Sultan in Blaine�s final chance for a win this season.

Good luck, Borderites!

Volleyball team �listens� to coach, defeats Tigers

They listened to the coach and it worked, giving Blaine volleyball fans a great finish to the season in the Borderites� final home game last Thursday and a record good enough for post-season play.

�0ur job now is to focus on Granite Falls,� head coach Muriel Ridnour had said after last week�s 0-3 loss at Meridian.

Two days later, the team came back big, defeating the Tigers 25-21, 25-21 and 25-16 in a match that featured 18 kills by Jess Summers, 26 assists by Jess Freeman and 13 service aces spread out among seven different players. Junior Jen Kramer had four kills and Jessica Carrington had one.

Summers and Freeman, along with outside hitters Alisa Burk and leftie Amanda Stull, all four seniors making their final home appearance, were honored with flowers, framed action photos and little volleyballs that they threw into the crowd.

Blaine finishes the regular season with a 4-4 league record, 6-8 overall, good enough to put them into the district tournament which began last night. Blaine�s first-round game was with Nooksack at Lynden Christian, but scores were not available at press time. The tournament continues Saturday at South Whidbey.