Posts Tagged ‘turf’

Ema Smith and her Wolf teammates scrapped on the turf in Sultan Tuesday, but the Turks escaped with a 1-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A change in field, a change in results.

Playing on turf in Sultan Tuesday, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team had trouble finding its scoring touch and absorbed a painful 1-0 loss to the host Turks.

It was a complete reversal from the first time the two teams played on Whidbey, when the Wolves scorched Sultan 6-0 while playing on a natural grass surface.

The loss drops Coupeville to 1-6 in North Sound Conference action, 2-9-1 overall, and will make it harder, but not impossible, for the Wolves to nab a playoff spot.

Five of the six teams in the new league advance to the postseason, and a CHS win would have put it two games up on Sultan (also now 1-6) with three to play.

Instead, the two teams are now locked in a tie for the final playoff berth, two games back of the league’s #4 team, Cedar Park Christian (3-4).

King’s (7-0), Granite Falls (5-2) and South Whidbey (4-3) currently hold down the top three slots.

Tuesday’s tilt on the Turk turf was one of those cases where a lot of small things build up and create bigger issues.

Coupeville’s roster is battling illness, there were no assistant refs on the scene, leaving one man to monitor the entire field, and then there was the faster surface, with its often unexpected bounces.

“We had a difficult time adjusting. Definitely slowed us down,” Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson said. “Throw in no AR’s, and a few sick girls, and we had a recipe for a bad game going.”

And yet the Wolves fought from start to finish, with their defense doing everything possible.

Wolf defender Tia Wurzrainer was a fireball in the backfield, shutting down Sultan strikers and stopping one shot on goal by sacrificing her own body, absorbing the force of the shot as she tumbled backwards.

With goalie Sarah Wright standing tall in the net, and Wurzrainer’s fellow defenders, like freshman Mary Milnes, keeping the Turks at bay, the game went into the half in a scoreless tie.

Sultan finally broke the seal on the net eight minutes into the second half, thanks to a bad bounce and a smooth move by its senior captain.

Coupeville lost control of the ball while sending it up-field, and the Turks took advantage.

Faith Kindle, with the ball on her toe, slid to the left, then dumped a ball back to the right, just squeezing it into the corner of the net at the last second for what would turn out to be the game’s only score.

The Wolves kept forcing the issue, with Lindsey Roberts smashing long balls and Genna Wright and Avalon Renninger fighting to get off a few shots, but Sultan’s defense proved up to the challenge.

Turk goalie Amanda McKay made a couple of nice snags to blunt Coupeville’s best scoring chances, and the Wolves couldn’t buy a break as the final minutes ticked away.

CHS gets to get back to playing on grass for its next two games.

The Wolves host Cedar Park Christian Thursday and South Whidbey Oct. 15, before traveling to Granite Falls Oct. 17 for the regular season finale.

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