The Bellingham girls soccer team defeated Olympic 1-0 in the first round of the 2A state playoffs, and it was thanks to a set piece the Red Raiders have been working on all year.
Allison Krell delivered a corner kick strike to Elizabeth Lewis-Clarke which the sophomore put home to provide the difference in the match. Bellingham coach Jared Fields said it was the 14th set piece goal of the year.
“We practice set pieces at the end of every Friday practice because they are so important,” Fields said. “Especially in the playoffs, goals like that help carry you when your offense is struggling.”
In a physical game, Bellingham (15-3-2) had chances but didn’t capitalize on them. Hannah Hodge had a shot go off the cross bar, and another set piece attempt was turned away by Olympic.
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Luckily for Bellingham, it was the best defensive performance of the year. Fields chalked it up to the play of Alexa Mee, Tessa Perry, Lewis-Clarke and captain Lucy Mantha in the back. Goal keeper Mia Ludwig saved all six of Olympic’s shots.
The Red Raiders will travel south to Vancouver and face Columbia River on Saturday in the state quarterfinals. The Chieftains are the defending 2A state champions, something Fields knows all too well.
“I’m getting the scouting report tomorrow but I know they’ll be tough.” Fields said.