By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ soccer team split a pair of games against tough opponents from Okanogan and Tonasket at the Okanogan Jamboree last Saturday (Sept. 6). In two 20-minute games, the Lady Lions handed the Tigers a 2-0 loss and came up short, 1-0, against the Bulldogs.
“Okanogan has a large, physical, athletic team,” said coach Lincoln Post, adding that he expects the Bulldogs to be one of the tougher opponents the Lady Lions will face this season.
Liberty Bell did not take a full contingent of players to the Jamboree, but enough to field an 11-girl team plus two substitutes.
“We had one junior and two sophomores on our team,” Post said. “The rest were freshmen and eighth-graders.”
Given that young lineup, the Lady Lions still “controlled the ball well and created scoring opportunities,” Post said.
State veteran Aiden Jones used her experience to set up both scoring plays for Liberty Bell against Tonasket, one a goal by Mia Kennedy and the other by Corinne Dietz.
In spite of the win with a small and young team Post said he won’t underestimate the Tigers during the course of the season.
Post and assistant coach Lucas Budrow are still making assessments on team positions and formations this early in the season.
“We saw some early season legs out there so we have more conditioning to do,” Post said.
The coach had particular praise for the team’s young goalkeeper, freshman Lauren Ochoa, who stopped a number of scoring attempts.
“Lauren is an excellent goalkeeper,” Post said, crediting that to her “combination of talent and attitude.”
The Lady Lions will get league experience early when they travel to Brewster to play the Bears on Thursday (Sept. 11) at 4:30 p.m. Liberty Bell will host Manson in its league home opener on Tuesday (Sept. 16) at 4:30 p.m.