Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weekly Braves' sports capsule Oct 19, 2011

Photos by Amylynn Richards

Braves Raves...

By Amylynn Richards
The athletic regular season is winding down; Thursday, Oct. 20 is senior recognition night for volleyball, boys’ soccer and girls’ soccer. Volleyball celebrates at 4:30 p.m. during the varsity game against Orcas Island. The girls’ soccer team plays Orcas Island at 3:30 p.m. and boys face Mount Vernon Christian at 6:30 p.m.
The girls’ volleyball team invites fans to join them and “Dig Pink” on senior night. Dig Pink is a campaign by the Side-Out Foundation in 2004 originally created to unite volleyball players and coaches to raise breast cancer awareness.
The soccer teams will play their final home games this week. The girls face Orcas Island Thursday, and then take on Napavine at home on Saturday. Napavine has been the state’s 2B second place team for three straight years, and should give the girls a “good gauge of where we are compared to our top state teams and those we’ll be facing in the state tournament,” said Coach Amy Freeto.
The girls played Darrington on Logger turf on Tuesday, Oct. 11, beating the Loggers in 4 games for the match (25-9, 17-25, 25-15, 25-20).  Both teams went into the match undefeated with 7-0 records. “It was a fun match-up of two undefeated teams,” said Coach Suzanne Marble. “We had to change our line-up due to an injury and the girls handled themselves with poise. I was very proud of how they adjusted to the new line-up.” “We were tough from the serving line tonight and Kelley McClung did a nice job of mixing up the offense from start to finish,” Marble added.
Team highlight: Kelley McClung had 35 assists, 5 aces and 4 blocks; Emily Anderson had 24 kills and 3 aces; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 14 kills, 25 digs and 2 blocks; and Katie McKnight had 6 kills and 3 aces.
The girls played Shoreline Christian Thursday, Oct. 13, and beat Shoreline in 3 games for the match (25-12, 25-21, 25-16).
Coach Marble said the Crusaders were “fired up,” while the Braves started out “a little flat,” allowing Shoreline to take the lead early in the game. “We made too many service errors and hitting errors in set two and allowed Shoreline Christian to get the momentum,” she said. “We know we have to come mentally and physically prepared for each match and not have any let up.”
Team highlights: Kelley McClung had 29 assists and 5 aces; Emily Anderson had 9 kills and 3 aces; Priscilla Ponce-Venegas had 9 kills and 2 aces; Carly Anderson had 15 digs; Katie McKnight had 6 kills and 4 aces; and Aubrey Stewart had 5 kills.
The Braves ended Homecoming Week with a bang, beating Chief Leshi 60-0. “The kids played with pride and I felt served the purpose of homecoming with their effort,” Coach Johnny Lee said. Lee credits the younger team members who had playing time in the second half with a large responsibility for the win. “Our offensive line produced better than they ever had,” Lee said, and noted the play of William Zeimantz, Harrison McGaughey, Rafael Ponce-Venegas, Jonathon O’Brien and Robert Duckworth. Lee also noted the “play making ability” of Trey Johnson and Matt Finley.
The team has “improved in our execution on offense and defense,” Lee said. “We have also developed an identity as a team that likes to pound the football with the run game, and a stout defense that is pretty opportunistic in taking advantage of our opponent’s mistakes. We are definitely looking forward to next week’s game against Concrete.”  That game will be an away game on Friday, Oct. 21, starting at 7 p.m.
Team touchdowns: Landy James by reception, punt return and interception return; Dahlton Zavala, 2 rushing touchdowns;  Bobby Poulton, 2 receptions; Matt Finley, rushing; and Keith Aske, 1 receiving.
La Conner’s six-year losing streak to the 3A league Sedro Woolley varsity soccer team has come to an end; the Braves beat the Cubs for the first time in Braves’ program history with a 3-2 win. “They are very competitive against teams like Mount Vernon, Anacortes, Bellingham, and tied 4A Squalicum this season,” Coach Amy Freeto said. “We are very proud of this milestone win.” 
The soccer team changed their formation for the game, moving forward Kelsey Crawford back to defense to “assess where Sedro Woolley was and not give up any early goals, which is traditionally how our games against Sedro have gone,” Freeto said.
This left the team with one forward, Nikki Finley, who quickly gave the Braves a 2-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes.  The Cubs brought the score to 2-1 at halftime, and then tied the game 10 minutes into the second half.  Maddie Cavanaugh scored the winning goal with 15 minutes left to play. The game was Cavanaugh’s first full game after recovering from an injury earlier this season. The win is “just what we needed to propel us into the last week of the regular season,” Freeto said. After facing Napavine on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at home, they face rival Friday Harbor Monday, Oct. 24. At stake in Friday Harbor is bragging rights as League Champion.
The boys took on Shoreline and Cedar Park last week, earning a shoot-out win against league leading Shoreline and then coming-from-behind to win against Cedar Park. “It was a week of games that was not for the faint-hearted Braves fan,” said Coach Steve DeLeon. “Both games were full of excitement and action.”
The game against the Shoreline Crusaders on Tuesday, Oct. 11 finished in a 2-2 tie with goals chipped in by Hayden Schmidt and Kory Duran, and went into a scoreless double-overtime.  The Braves pulled out the win when Todd Hoagland, Jamall James and Schmidt converted on their penalty kicks, and the Crusaders missed several of theirs. “Goalkeeper Erick Reinstra gave us an advantage when he saved two of Shoreline Christian’s penalty kicks,” DeLeon said.
On Friday, Oct. 14, the Braves pulled out a late 4-3 win against Cedar Park after being down 3-1.
The game was a tough one, DeLeon said. The team had trouble and suffered from “confusion” on defense which led to three Cedar Park goals in the first half. The Braves got on the board in the first half with an early goal by Hayden Schmidt.
Senior captain Todd Hoagland scored three unassisted goals in the second half to give the Braves the win. DeLeon credited “several teammates who stepped up and helped rally the team” including: Tanner Cyr, who “overcame some first half jitters to shut down the Cedar Park attack in the second half;  Joe Lee, Mitchell Roth and Jamall James, who took control of the midfield; and forwards Kory Duran, Luis Fernandez  and Dylan Sicklesteel.”

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