With the two highest-scoring teams in the Northwest Conference and the top three goalscorers, most might have expected a much different scoreline.
But make no mistake, Squalicum was dominant in its 1-0 win over Burlington-Edison on Thursday, Oct. 15, at Civic Stadium.
The Storm put 16 shots on frame, while the Tigers didn’t challenge Storm goalkeeper Rachel Runnalls once.
It was Kim Hazlett’s header goal in the 28th minute that ended up being the game-winner. The star senior, who now has 21 goals on the year, got behind the Tigers’ defense on a Rachel Dorr free kick and calmly placed the ball in the net.
“Me and Kim (Dorr) always line up and try to get in right as the ball is hit,” Hazlett said after the game. “Usually at least once every season, we’re able to get on the end of one of them.”
The Storm, which extended its unbeaten streak to 36 games, continued to pepper Burlington-Edison goalie Jenny Gustafson the rest of the night, but the Tigers’ netminder recorded 14 saves including a few outstanding stops on Hazlett, Kim Dorr and Braeden Hilleary to keep Squalicum at bay.
“One foot one way or the other and this could have been a completely different scoreline,” Storm coach David Kish said. “But their keeper made the saves she needed to make.”
At the other end, the Storm kept NWC’s leading goalscorer Edie Breckenridge (27 goals) off the ball for most of the game.
Unlike other teams that have to mark the speedy senior, the Storm used its team-defense approach to keep Breckenridge off the board for only the fourth time this season.
“I have a lot of really good defenders,” Kish said. “If you watch, as soon as Edie had the ball, there’s two defenders on her ... and you can see she got frustrated.”
For Squalicum, it was the first time this season its been tested, when a single slip-up can cost the team the game.
As the postseason nears, the experience could be instrumental in Squalicum’s run for its fourth straight Class 2A state semifinal appearance.
“We wanted it. We’ve been hoping for a team to push us. We get better by getting pushed,” said Kish, adding that the schedule continues to stay tough the next three games with Meridian, Sehome and Lynden still on the slate. “It’s not an easy stretch but we’re happy. It’s good for us.”
Reach Joshua Hart at 360-715-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Squalicum 1, Burlington-Edison 0
Goal: Kim Hazlett (Squalicum), assist: Rachel Dorr, time 28. Goalies (saves) — Burlington-Edison: Jenny Gustafson (14); Squalicum: Rachel Runnalls (0). Shots on goal — Burlington-Edison 0, Squalicum 16.