By Mike Maltais
The young and battered Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ soccer team gave the 1A Connell Eagles one of their toughest fights of the season in spite of the 6-0 loss the Lady Lions brought home from the encounter.
“Connell has outscored its opponents 45 to 4 in the past seven games it has played,” said coach Erik Olson.
Coming off a close 2-1 loss to the Bridgeport Fillies Oct. 10, the Lady Lions faced a strong, well-balanced Eagles team comprised of six seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
Compared to the Connell lineup, Olson had one sub to spare on a team heavy with young players.
“We had two eighth-graders on defense and another as a striker,” Olson said. The coach added that at one point nearly every Lady Lion on the pitch was an eighth-grader.
Even given the edge in age and numbers Connell, could only manage one goal in the first half.
It wasn’t until the second half of play that fatigue began to wear down Liberty Bell and gave the Eagles more opportunities to score.
It was the Lady Lions’ first game on artificial turf this season and the team escaped without incurring any further injuries to players. In fact, senior striker Tulie Budiselich and eighth-grade goalkeeper Lauren Ochoa, sidelined earlier with concussions, both rejoined the team.
Ninth-grade striker Lauren Fitzmaurice recovering from a broken bone in her arm sustained early in the season is expected to be ready for action this week.
Liberty Bell was scheduled to meet the Tigers at Entiat Tuesday (Oct. 15). The Lady Lions will host Manson at 5 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 17) and travel to Oroville for a game against the Hornets next Tuesday (Oct. 22).