Perhaps the best idea Squalicum girls soccer coach Jose Rodriguez had was not telling his players Burlington-Edison had not allowed a goal in its first eight games.
“I didn’t want to put that in their heads,” he said with a grin.
The Storm (7-1-1, 5-0-1 Northwest Conference) instead kept its heads, rallying for a 4-1 win over the Tigers (6-1-2, 5-1-0) on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Down 1-0 after Delaney Watson’s goal two minutes into the second half, two-time Class 2A state champion Squalicum (now 3A) scored four goals in the final 16 minutes.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Junior Jessica DeVere began the comeback with her first goal of the season. She benefited from the first of three assists from Kendra Steele.
“Oh, really?” DeVere said when informed she was the first to score against the Tigers this season. “That sure feels good! Kendra headed the ball and it began bouncing around and then it rolled right to me. I said, ‘Here we go!’ ”
“I was really glad to see Jessica get that goal,” Rodriguez said. “The crossbar and posts have not been kind to her.”
FOWLER, SHIKANY STRIKE
One of Squalicum’s most potent strikers, Payton Fowler, found the goal with 11 minutes left on a power shot. Natalie Shikany’s goal made it 3-1 with two minutes left on Steele’s third assist. Fowler scored again in the final seconds on an assist from the senior standout’s younger sister, sophomore Riley Fowler.
“We kept our three covenants: dedication, determination and desire,” Payton Fowler said. “This really was a true team win.”
“All of our units played well together,” Rodriguez said. “Overall, it was our best game.”
The Storm’s backline of Olivia Benner, Jayden Nguyen, Sophie Nguyen and Abbie Lease gave goalkeeper Aly Langer plenty of help.
“I don’t think Aly even saw Burlington’s goal,” Rodriguez said of Watson’s rebound out of a crowd, one of only six Tiger shots.
MIDS ALSO SHINE
Squalicum’s Steele, Kelly Anderson, Amanda Wells, Catelyn Stevenson and Ireland Eaton helped dominate midfield as the Storm had 20 shots and forced Tigers keeper Jenny Gustafson to make eight saves.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Storm will face NWC Class 3A rival Ferndale on Monday, Oct. 3, at Civic Stadium for the league lead.
Since winning the third-place game at 2A state in 2013, Squalicum’s lone loss in 56 games has been a 2-1 nonleague setback in the second game this season to Sehome.