Seniors led the way as the Liberty Bell High School girls’ soccer team opened its season with a home field, 3-1 win over Mount Vernon Christian.
The Lady Lions built a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals by seniors Cassidy Butler and Danielle Mott. In the second half of the non-league game, senior Lauren Fitzmaurice added a goal for Liberty Bell. All three assists were by Sally Thornton-White.
Mount Vernon Christian, playing with just 11 girls suited up, managed to get a shot past Liberty Bell goalkeeper Lauren Ochoa but could not get any closer.
“For our first game of the season I was impressed by the team play and passing,” coach Lincoln Post said. “There is a positive energy and work ethic on this team and I am looking forward to a great season. Everyone played well including our players who were in their first game ever.”
Post said that Liberty Bell’s eighth-graders were not allowed to play because of a rule change by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). The Lady Lions have relied on eighth-graders to fill out the roster in past years.
“ We are working to have the rule overturned because it was imposed to discourage larger districts from cutting their middle school programs,” Post said. “The unintended consequence is that they are discouraging student participation. We have a history of playing eighth-grade students and this year it will not only effect the eighth grade but also reduces our numbers so that we will be unable to field a JV team. In past years we needed eighth-grade participation to even field a team.”
Liberty Bell is seeking its fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The Lady Lions played at home against Cashmere on Tuesday (Sept. 13). They travel to Okanogan on Thursday (Sept. 15), then play at Omak on Tuesday (Sept. 20).