Slipping and sliding all over the field in the second half of her team’s match against Shelton, Bainbridge senior Chloe Boeker realized the top half of her cleat had broken off.
Fortunately, she has the same cleat size as teammate Megan Hauschild, and the backup goalkeeper’s boot proved to have a little mojo in it as Boeker went on to score a pair of goals to help the Spartans knock off the Highclimbers 3-0 Tuesday at Bainbridge Memorial Stadium.
“It’s the magic cleat,” Boeker said.
The win improved the Spartans record to 2-1 on the season; a shortened year is a difficult challenge for any team, but Bainbridge has 12 new players on varsity and only three seniors.
They had a rough go of it in their opener against Central Kitsap, which returned most of the team that went to the 3A state semifinals in 2019. The experienced Cougars cruised to a 5-0 victory in a match that featured two hail storms and saw the stadium lights go out with 15 minutes to play.
The Spartans rebounded nicely last Thursday in Belfair as they defeated North Mason 4-0. “[We’re] trying to come together as quickly as we can in a short period of time,” coach Katie Drovdahl said.
The Spartans had a number of close calls throughout the match against Shelton and likely could have scored more than three. After 38 minutes of scoreless soccer, Savannah Mabee engineered a give-and-go up the left side of the field with Boeker, and when the sophomore midfielder got the ball back, she connected with Kendall Low, who was running full steam for a breakaway. Low barreled in on the keeper and fired a shot into the far lower right corner to put her team on the board.
Bainbridge turned up the pressure in the second half. “We were trying to attack more,” Drovdahl said.
After her cleat change, Boeker broke free of the defense on a long ball from Hailey Fink. Boeker used her speed to stay ahead of the defender and bury a low shot to extend the lead to 2-0 with 12 minutes to go.
Three minutes later, after a turnover in the Shelton half of the pitch, Boeker dribbled through a couple of defenders and beat the keeper one more time.
Bainbridge will look to keep the momentum going Saturday when it hosts Bremerton at 3:45 p.m. Drovdahl said the players have enjoyed being in the Olympic League this year, as it allows them to play against many of the same girls they see in club matches.
The Spartans are due to play South Kitsap and North Kitsap twice over the next two weeks as well as one more match with Central Kitsap.