The Lady Borderites finished their season in Sammamish Saturday losing 2-0 to The Bush School in a knockout game.
Coach Gio Quesada said this was a common occurrence this season. The girls would control possession of the ball for most of the game but concede on the counter attack.
The game started as a tentative battle in midfield. The nerves of a knockout game seemed to be getting to the players. Both teams repeatedly lumped the ball forward not wanting to make a mistake in possession. But around 10 minutes in, Blaine midfielders Gabi Blanco and Kristina Roby started moving the ball and finding the feet of forwards Bries Nolasco and Juliana Zuzarte and midfielder Evellina Yuryev.
After the first sustained attack of the game, a clearance from a Bush defender and a quick combination between forwards caught out the high line of the Borderite defense. The Bush forward coolly slotted the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Krystin Kamrath, giving Bush a 1-0 lead less than 20 minutes into the game. The girls looked stunned as Bush gained momentum.
Toward the end of the first half and chasing the game, the Borderites would create some chances but only a couple of goal-scoring opportunities where they failed to test the keeper. It was more of the same in the second half; the girls controlled possession of the ball but had a more difficult time breaking down the Bush defense.
“We couldn’t seem to make that final pass to get us into a scoring position,” said captain Kamrath. “And conceding early on made it even more difficult.”
Still down 1-0 and with little to show for all their possession, Blaine coaches moved defender Ava Curtright into midfield, leaving three at the back. Up to that point, Curtright had kept Blaine in the game defensively with a few last ditch tackles. And with five minutes left in the game Bush were able to capitalize on her absence, scoring another breakaway goal.
This would inject even more urgency into the Borderite offense but the Bush defense held strong. The traveling Blaine fans congratulated the upset team from the stands after the final whistle.
“I think it really hit us hard,” Kamrath said. “It’s not the way we wanted to go out, but I think we have to be proud of what we accomplished this season.”
While tough to lose like they did – a win away from the state tournament – Quesada said the girls have to be proud of their season. “The girls gave a lot of effort,” he said. “Sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you have a bad one. That’s soccer. I’m really proud of how the girls played.”
It was one of the best seasons he has seen, he said, and he’s heard it was one of the best in Blaine’s history.
The girls finished with a 9-8 overall record, but Quesada said this was more than just a winning season. He said this team really improved the school’s program by gaining support from the community.
“When you bring fans to the stands it’s because good things happen. That’s what it’s really about,” Quesada said. “You can measure a team’s success off of winning and losing games, but it’s also about community support. And we have a ton of it here.”
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