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Bainbridge Island FC girls U17 team captures league title
Battling back from a tough start to the season, the Bainbridge Island FC girls U17 team went out kicking to claim the title of league champions.
The Bainbridge team tied with the Pumas at the start of the season, then lost to Legacy, an Edmonds team.
But it’s been nothing but victories ever since.
“They actually only gave up two goals in the entire season,” said Ian McCallum, director of coaching for Bainbridge Island FC.
The team finished with a 6-1-1 record.
After claiming the league crown, the team will now get a break for a few weeks before state cup play. The girls will have one game on Bainbridge, followed by two off-island games before bracket play starts.
McCallum praised the guidance of first-year coach Scott Ford.
The team has made a tremendous leap forward under Ford, he said.
“They showed so much promise but they never had the breaks,” McCallum said. “This year, it’s all come together.”
“They’ve always played good, attractive soccer. They just never got the wins. Whatever Scott’s done, he’s transferred that great play into adding W’s onto it, as well.
“He’s done a great job.”
Ford said he stressed the importance of working together as a team.
“The girls have gelled, and are really close friends on and off the field,” Ford said.
“I think the results take care of themselves after that,” he said.
Among the team of standouts, Ford noted the great effort made by midfielder Julia Chiado.
She should be playing U16 soccer, he added.
“She’s played up,” Ford said. “She’s just brought a lot of calmness to the team. She’s just a very gifted player.”
Forward Katie Shepard has also been an incredible asset to the team, he said.
“She’s a very creative, skillful player,” Ford said. “She caused opposition’s defenses all sorts of trouble.”
The team also includes Katia Nelson, Holly Furner, Hannah Johnson, Colleen Mitchell, Alex Bredy, Heidi Johnson, Cailyn Dithmer-Schreck, Sara Zuarri, Sarah Morgan, Emma Cottrell, Ellie Hutchison, Ali Nausid-Nicols and Karin Muggli.
Cup play in the weeks ahead will be a tough challenge, the coach said.
“We’ve got nothing to be afraid of,” Ford said. “We’re just going to go out there and compete in every game, and believe in ourselves, and that we can pick up some victories.”