In the final 15 minutes of regulation the Bellevue Wolverines girls soccer team unleashed a multitude of shots on goal against the Liberty Patriots.
Liberty, which had a 3-2 lead, fended off the comeback bid holding on for one-goal victory against Bellevue on Sept. 29 at Bellevue Memorial Stadium.
The Patriots improved their overall record to 5-2 with the win while Bellevue dropped to 4-2-1. Liberty head coach Tami Nguyen credited her team’s defense for not giving up the equalizer in the final 15 minutes of regulation. Wolverines’ senior forward Kiley Suter had three shots on goal in the final 15 minutes of action. Suter’s line drive shot in the 68th minute caromed off of the right post.
The Wolverines also had four corner-kicks during that time span but were denied by Liberty’s stingy defense.
“Whenever your team can still come out with a victory and endure that much pressure it is a good thing,” Nguyen said. “It has been awhile since we’ve beat those guys. It is a team that we respect and they always have a great team so it is always good to get a ‘W’ against them.”
Liberty senior forward Kalyn Gill scored a goal in the 10th minute, giving her team a 1-0 lead.
The Patriots extended its lead to 2-0 when Makena Carr scored a goal in the 32nd minute. Bellevue cut Liberty’s lead to 2-1 on a Joelle Tudor goal in the 37th minute.
Liberty extended Bellevue’s lead to 3-1 on Chloe Winn’s goal in the 52nd minute. With 20 minutes of left in regulation, Wolverines’ senior Carlie Gilbert unleashed a shot into the lower left side of the net, cutting Liberty’s lead to 3-2. It was the final goal of the night for either team.
Bellevue head coach Peter Cochran credited Liberty for being a formidable opponent.
“They play beautiful soccer. We knew it was going to be a challenge tonight. We gave it our best. We did generate a lot of chances. Sometimes that is the result (loss). We just got to live with it. The good thing is we get to play them again here in a couple of weeks,” Cochran said. “I think tonight our team should hold their heads very high. We played extraordinarily well. Sometimes in our sport the results don’t go your way.”
The Wolverines, who won the Class 3A state championship during the 2016 season, are confident they will get back on track.
“We lost our first one (game) a couple of weeks ago for the first time in two years,” Cochran said. “When things don’t go your way, it is how you handle it. That is what we’re working on. Fortunately we hope we don’t have too many of those lessons to learn. We have a great team.”
Sarah Brenden contributed to this story.