Anticipated girls’ soccer and volleyball matches on the slate for Thursday, Sept. 11.
1: Squalicum at Bellingham (7 p.m., at Civic Stadium)
This is a rematch of the Class 2A State Semifinals when the Red Raiders staged a huge upset over the heavily-favored Storm. Bellingham fell in its opener to Sehome 2-0 Tuesday, looking similar to the same team last year that struggled finishing shots. With that said, the Red Raiders are experienced and should come back with a better performance. On the other side, Squalicum eased through its first match with a 3-0 win over Burlington-Edison. Kim Hazlett recorded a goal and an assist, starting her season right where it left off a year ago.
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2: Ferndale at Sehome (4 p.m., Northwest Soccer Park)
Sehome got up for a big match against Bellingham Tuesday, defeating the Red Raiders 2-0, but make no mistake, the Mariners were on their heals for most of the match. Coach Andria Fountain has to be happy with the win, but Bellingham was the aggressor and dominated possession. The attack of Stephanie Mindnich and Abby Webster looked pretty good, though. Ferndale is coming off a 1-1 tie with Lynden. The Golden Eagles have a strong 1-2 in Jill Monson and Jordin Bartel, with an all-league stud at centerback in Carly Bannerman. They’ll look to make an early statement just like Sehome did.
3: Lynden at Lynden Christian (4:30 p.m., at Lynden Christian)
Both teams probably won’t factor into the NWC regular season championship, but this is always a good inner-city game. Lynden has a new coach in Carlos Melendez, and the Lyncs lost 10 seniors off last years club. There are a lot of question marks surrounding both squads, so this game might offer potential answers for both.
1: Sehome at Lynden (7 p.m., at Lynden)
Both of these teams are coming off a deep run in the state tournament a year ago, the Mariners finishing fourth and the Lions eighth. Lynden lost two of its top players to injury before the season began, so this will be an early test to see what coach Julie Clift has left on her team. The Mariners have less question marks with Dani Johnson and Megan Greer returning as the core nucleus, so Sehome is looking to kick its season off quickly with another decisive win. Wins for the Mariners over Squalicum and Lynden in the same week wouldn’t be a bad way to start.
2: Bellingham at Nooksack Valley (7 p.m., at Nooksack Valley)
Kim Bjorklund has a group at Bellingham that can break through to the 2A playoffs. Olivia Bjorklund is one of the more imposing hitters in the conference, and the cast of Anna Zeegers and Summer Douglas provide for a formidable group. Nooksack doesn’t quite have the size and talent of Bellingham, but experience is something the Pioneers have in abundance. Look for Nooksack to grind out points on defense and force the Red Raiders into mistakes. Nooksack took the two teams’ lone meeting last year 3-1.