BELLINGHAM - Coaches Andria Fountain of Sehome and Mark Wright of Bellingham readily agreed that a classic example of teamwork by Sehome's Hanna Tarleton and Emily Webster definitely was worthy of being called "a YouTube goal."
Webster, the Northwest Conference's scoring leader, jumped out of a mass of players in the 33rd minute to head in a corner kick from Tarleton for the first goal of unbeaten Sehome's 2-0 victory over Bellingham in a matchup of the first- and second-place girls' soccer teams Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Civic Stadium.
That, however, was not the only YouTube-caliber play, as Sehome assistant coach MeriJo Borzilleri pointed out just as quickly as Webster used her head.
"And THAT was a YouTube save!" Borzilleri said of Sehome goalie Rachel Albert's perfectly timed leaping save of what looked like a sure goal in the 67th minute by Bellingham's Mia Hodges.
Sehome coach Andria Fountain quickly agreed.
"With anyone else playing goalkeeper, that would have been a goal," Fountain said.
All in all, it was a highly entertaining night for fans of both Sehome (10-0-1, 7-0-0) and Bellingham (5-5-1, 5-2-0).
Bellingham goalkeeper Hannah Jacobus - who logged 16 saves including three of the spectacular variety - couldn't really be faulted for either score. The Red Raiders kept Albert busy with 10 saves, but only her last was a real challenge while preserving her shutout.
Sehome's second goal thrilled the Mariners, since it came from senior midfielder Nikki Thon, playing in her sixth game since turning out late. Coming on a cross from Tarleton two minutes into the second half, Thon's goal came on a long, soft high-arc kick that barely cleared the bar and fell just behind a rapidly retreating Jacobus.
"I'd like to say I bent it like Beckham, but it was really more of a fluke goal," Thon said of her second score this season.
Thon said she is thrilled to be back in soccer.
"I wasn't originally going to play," said Thon, "but several of my friends asked me to come out for the team. Now I'm so happy to be back."
Webster's memorable goal was her 13th of the season, giving her 29 points. She came in leading the NWC with 27, including three assists. Tarleton's two assists gave her 21 points, with seven goals and seven assists.
It's quite a one-two punch - nobody else in the conference is close to their combined 50 points.
"What I'd really like to see (if that was a YouTube goal) was Emily running toward me and hugging me," Tarleton said. "I originally couldn't tell because there were so many people there."
Webster said she could not have asked for a better chance to use her head.
"Hanna's ball (on the corner kick) was absolutely perfect," Webster said.
Fountain said it was the third time this season they've pulled off the corner kick-header goal - Tarleton takes the left-side corner kicks - but this was the most memorable.
"I'd say we had a good, dominating performance," said Fountain of her defending NWC champions.
Bellingham, which came in tied for second with Burlington-Edison, showed Wright enough that he could feel encouraged.
"We're getting closer to how we want to play," said Wright, who started four seniors in contrast to Sehome's seven.
"I think we had a really good start (three early shots) and a good offensive flow for a while, but Sehome's physicality took over," Wright said.
Bellingham had to work harder in the second half to penetrate Sehome's back-line defense of Alli Umbaugh, Emily Russell, Hannah Mankle and freshman Bryce Sherif.
In the 11th minute, Sehome's Ashley Mindnich launched what looked like a possible power goal, but Jacobus had the crowd gasping with an outstanding diving save.
Jabobus then frustrated Sehome with 10 consecutive saves in the first 30 minutes, until Tarleton and Webster broke through.
Sehome next faces Blaine on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Northwest Soccer Park. Bellingham will play that day at Sedro-Woolley.
SEHOME 2, BELLINGHAM 0
Scoring: Goal: Emily Webster; assist, Hanna Tarleton; time: 33; Goal: Nikki Thon; assist, Tarleton,; time, 42. Shots on goal: Bellingham 11, Sehome 18. Goalkeepers (saves): Bellingham, Hannah Jacobus (16); Sehome, Rachel Albert (10).