Two things had to happen for the Lady Borderites soccer team to make it into the Northwest Conference playoffs this year: they had to win Tuesday evening’s game at Mount Vernon, and Lynden had to beat Squalicum.
Neither of those events took place.
Despite a hard-fought match in the wind and rain, Mount Vernon beat Blaine 5-0 Tuesday night, ending the Borderites’ 2010 playoff hopes.
“Mount Vernon was just the better team,” Blaine head coach Dan Steelquist said in a phone interview.
The Borderites were able to keep the Bulldogs to one score in the first half, but allowed four additional goals in the second, Steelquist said. Blaine was just not able to gel the way they did in their two consecutive wins before Tuesday’s match, he said.
That’s not to say the Lady B’s did not work hard. Steelquist said he was especially proud of the play that came out of his three seniors: forwards Samantha Nault and Katey Conway and defender Bethany Dahl. Nault and Conway were also playing through minor injuries.
While Mount Vernon may have dominated shots on goal, Steelquist said Blaine possessed the ball much better than the Bulldogs. Mount Vernon did not play like a team that has numerous ties this season, he remarked.
It has been years since the last game of the regular season has decided the Lady B’s playoff chances, Steelquist explained. All three of the team’s seniors can remember years where the Borderites’ season was over with two or three games left to play, he said.
This year, Steelquist said his girls shined. “We were determined to make it to the end of the season,” he said. “We were able to leave our mark on the game.”
With the Lady B’s three seniors graduating at the end of spring, including Nault who had 15 goals this season, Steelquist said his team will have to work on combination play for next season. He said he is looking forward to seeing sophomore midfielder Hope Wilkett and junior midfielder Naomi Landis come into their own as goalscorers.
The Borderites finish out the 2010 season with a 5-7 conference record and a 6-9 overall record.