By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ soccer team gave notice that they are coming to play and mean to be taken seriously after plowing under the Omak Pioneers, 4-1, in home pitch action last Thursday (Sept. 19).
The Lady Lions put the pressure on Omak’s goalkeeper early with several shot attempts before senior captain Tulie Budiselich lifted an unassisted kick from 15 yards out that was partially deflected but still sailed over the goalie’s head into the net 16 minutes into the first half.
Budiselich’s other scoring attempts in the first half included a hard shot from 30 yards out that rang the Omak crossbar in a near miss.
Omak answered back with a drive that caught goalkeeper Hannah Hafsos out of position and allowed the Pioneers their only score in the 25th minute of play.
Later in the first half, freshman midfielder Mia Kennedy was fouled by Omak’s goalkeeper and converted her penalty kick into Liberty Bell’s second point with seven minutes remaining before the break.
Liberty Bell dominated Omak, 14-5, with shots on goal, and two of those in the second half gave the Lady Lions the win going away.
Kennedy found the net with an assist from Danielle Mott in the 57th minute of play and Budiselich struck for her second goal in the 69th minute.
In spite of the win, the coaches didn’t see the brand of teamwork they are looking for at this point in the season.
“This was one of those games,” said coach Mike Wilson. “Our hope at the beginning of the game, our instructions as a coaching staff, was not to worry about the score or the winning, but that we wanted to see deliberate ball possession and patience on defense.” Wilson said the coaches didn’t see much of either “until the second half, and even then it was fleeting.”
With Brewster and Warden, two tough non-league opponents ahead before the Lady Lions face league rival Oroville, Wilson stressed that “we really need to begin to work on playing as a team, playing for each other.”
Wilson singled out the defensive play of Hafsos on goal and eighth-grade defenders Hannah Weymuller and Haley Post.
“Tulie and Mia continue to keep up the offensive pressure, even when we are not playing at our best,” Wilson said.
The Lady Lions travel to Brewster for a non-league game against the Bears Thursday (Sept. 26). Liberty Bell will host Warden at 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 28).
Oroville will be in town at 5 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 1) to open the league season.