The Nooksack Valley boys' soccer team is all too familiar with what Blaine forward Nick Butschli can do with a ball at his feet.
Butschli scored four goals against the Pioneers during the Boderites' second game of the year. He duplicated the feat again Friday, April 12, at rainy Nooksack Valley Elementary in Everson.
The Blaine striker's big day propelled the Borderites to a 5-3 Northwest Conference win and helped Blaine earn its first league victory. The loss snapped Nooksack Valley's four-match unbeaten streak.
"There has been a big 1A rivalry between Blaine and Nooksack Valley for a while," Blaine coach Mike Couto said during a phone interview. "The guys showed up ready to play, and they played hard."
Nooksack Valley's Luke VanWingerden recorded his 11th goal of the season and his third multi-goal game with a hat trick, scoring all three of the Pioneers' goals. He gave Nooksack Valley an early 1-0 lead before Blaine's Danny Thorpe, who also had an assist, scored in the 23rd minute to even the game at 1 apiece.
Butschli scored the next two goals to give Blaine a 3-1 advantage before VanWingerden cut the Borderites' lead to 3-2 with a goal in the 66th minute. Blaine's junior goal scorer added two more goals, and VanWingerden completed his hat trick with a goal in the 75th minute.
"The team battled out there, and it was a good soccer match to watch," Couto said. "I have seen Nick multiple times have really strong games. He had great movement, and his last goal he snuck a corner kick into the back of the net. It was a pretty goal."
Blaine (2-8-0, 1-6-0 NWC) travels to play Sehome next at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, at Civic Stadium, while Nooksack Valley (4-5-1, 2-3-1 NWC) faces Squalicum at 4 p.m. Monday, at Northwest Soccer Fields.
BLAINE 5, NOOKSACK VALLEY 3
Scoring: Goal: Luke VanWingerden (NV), time: 22; Goal: Danny Thorpe (Bla.), assist: Zach Oakley, time: 23; Goal: Nick Butschli (Bla.), assist: Danny Thorpe, time: 48; Goal: Nick Butschli (Bla.) assist: Kai Griffin, time: 59; Goal: Luke VanWingerden (NV), time: 66; Goal: Nick Butschli (Bla.) assist: David Shapiro, time: 67; Goal: Nick Butschli (Bla.) time: 72; Goal: Luke VanWingerden (NV), time: 75 Shots on goal: Blaine 13; Nooksack Valley 15. Goalies (saves): Blaine: Bud Halldorsen (11); Nooksack Valley: Levi VanWingerden (6).
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.