The Sehome girls' soccer team suffered only two losses during last year's Northwest Conference winning state runner-up season.
It took 80 minutes for the Mariners to experience their first defeat of 2013, as Ferndale handed coach Andria Fountain's new-look club a 2-1 non-conference loss Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Northwest Soccer Fields.
It was a surprising result based on Sehome's strong soccer pedigree. It's less suspect, though, given the roster turnover Sehome has endured since the end of last season.
Fountain graduated nine seniors, and Tuesday, for the most part, was the first time the majority of Sehome's players suited up for a varsity match.
"I think they were trying to put stuff together," Fountain said in a phone interview. "I think they were OK. I think they were a little nervous, doing some panic passing. We have a few things to work on."
Sehome put together one of its best passing sequences 28 minutes into the match. Fiona Dawson played a ball into Ferndale's scoring area, and Devin Grahn recorded her first varsity goal with a shot past Ferndale's goalie to put the Mariners in front 1-0.
"We strung some passes together with a pretty nice passing sequence," Fountain said. "Fiona crossed it, and Devin got a foot on it and put it past the goalie."
Sehome's lead didn't last long.
Ferndale's Katelyn Neher scored seven minutes later off an assist from Jordin Bartel, and Jillian Monson registered the game-winner in the 63rd minute.
Sehome outshot Ferndale 15-4, but Mariners senior keeper Hannah Lauffer couldn't get a win in her varsity debut after replacing longtime keeper Rachel Albert.
"Ferndale has a lot of speed," Fountain said. "Hannah came out and made a couple of saves on one-on-ones, but these were shots she got part of her hand on and couldn't do much else."
The Golden Eagles (1-0, 0-0 NWC), who reached the Class 3A Northwest District Tournament last year, faces Bellingham next at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at Northwest Soccer Fields. Sehome (0-1, 0-0 NWC) plays city-rival Squalicum next at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, under the lights on Civic Stadium's new Sprinturf.
FERNDALE 2, SEHOME 1
Goal: Devin Grahn (Sehome), assist Fiona Dawson: time: 28; Goal: Katelyn Neher (Ferndale), assist Jordin Bartel: time: 35; Goal: Jillian Monson (Ferndale); time: 63. Shots on goal: Ferndale 4; Sehome 15. Goalies (saves) Ferndale: N/A (7); Sehome: Hannah Lauffer (5).
Spelling of Katelyn Neher's name corrected.