The Lady Borderites notched another win Tuesday in their undefeated record this season with four games played. With goals from Bries Nolasco and Paige Linhares and a strong midfield duo of Gabi Blanco and Kristina Robi dictating possession, Blaine came from behind to beat Oak Harbor 2-1 September 21.
The Borderites started the game strong with some crisp passing through midfield. Many early chances came through Nolasco but Oak Harbor’s keeper matched her. The Wildcats would strike first.
Playing a 4-4-2 system, a striker dropped into midfield to find the ball and put it over the top of the Borderites defense for the other to run onto. With pace and strength, the Wildcat forward was clear in on the goal and slotted it past goalkeeper Larissa Pluschakov.
Having most of the ball and chances in the first half, the Borderites and their home fans were stunned. But it wouldn’t take long for the girls to equalize.
Nolasco’s speed and close dribbling would prove too much for Oak Harbor’s strong defensive line. Close to the end of the first half, she broke in on goal from the left. Letting the ball come across her, Nolasco toe-poked it into the side netting, raising the spirits of the home crowd.
While Nolasco created the majority of chances for the Borderites throughout the game, head coach Gio Quesada said he’s all about teamwork. “This team really works like a team,” he said. “Sometimes you have a star player but I’m pro-team.”
Starting the second half, the Borderites continued to build from the back, while the Wildcats tried to play on the counter, continuing to knock the ball for their striker to run onto.
With the Oak Harbor goalkeeper going off injured midway through the second half, the Borderites were able to capitalize on a less experienced player between the sticks. Throwing the ball back to the Borderites, she forced her team to concede a long-range free kick.
Paige Linhares stepped up for the Borderites and sailed it over the substitute keeper, putting Blaine in the lead for the first time in the night. And with under 10 minutes left in the game, the goal was enough to secure the Borderites fourth win of the season.
“I couldn’t ask for more,” Quesada said. “The passing was great through the whole team, from the defenders to the midfield and to the forwards.”
Quesada said while the team is currently undefeated, the goal for the rest of the season is to keep working and be a success.
“I think building the players a little by little is more important than winning,” he said. “It was a great win last night but there were a few mistakes that we can work on.”
The girls will host Ferndale Thursday, September 23 and then travel to Squalicum Tuesday, September 28. Both games are at 7 p.m.
Due to a positive Covid-19 case in the ranks, a group of the boys have been forced to quarantine through this week. Their game last week was cancelled and their game in South Whidbey this week has been cancelled again. The team will hopefully return healthy in time to play rival Lynden Christian at home Friday, October 1.
The Borderites are undefeated so far this season.
The volleyball team is 2-2 this season with a loss at home to Oak Harbor Monday, September 20.
The Lady Borderites beat Mount Vernon on the road four sets September 16 for their first away win of the season. They then returned home to face the Wildcats to lose in three straight sets.
The team will host Ferndale on Thursday, September 23 and then will travel to Squalicum Tuesday, September 28. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
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