SANDPOINT — It will go in the books as a 1-1 draw, but for the Bulldog girls soccer team the result is a de facto win, going toe-to-toe against a Central Valley soccer team that is among the best in the state of Washington on Wednesday in a nonleague battle at Pine St. Field.
It’s why when asked his feeling on the tie after a physical battle, Bulldog head coach Conor Baranski knew full well what it meant for his team to earn the draw against the reigning state runner up Bears (3-1), a Greater Spokane League power who went 18-1 last year and has played in the Washington State 4A title game in three of the last five years.
“I’m elated. That’s the best team we’ll face, a massive game,” claimed Baranski, whose team plays three GSL schools this fall. “Like U-high, it’s a game I will point back to the rest of the season. We battled and found spaces against an organized team.”
The Bulldogs (6-1-1) fell behind in the 24th minute, but equalized six minutes later when freshman Piper Frank took a nice pass from Kiley Webster and finished a nice build up for the game’s final goal.
The Bears controlled the action and possession for much of the game, and were tough to win 50/50 balls against, but the Bulldogs hung tough and behind eight second half saves from Shea Kilpatrick earned a highly-respectable result that will surely pay dividends down the road.
Frank’s goal came a perfect time, and the Bulldogs settled in after that and had some decent looks at goal on counter attacks.
“We were struggling for composure, and Piper’s goal was a bit of composure,” said Baranski. “Kiley flipped it, Piper set it and scored. When we were composed, we did well.”
Mya Darling, Yeo Yarnell, Emma Thielbahr and Jezza Hutto were tested often in the back third, and did some of their best defending of the season against a fast and physical attack.
Sandpoint hosts Mead on Monday in another tough nonleague friendly.
First half — 1, CV, Alyssa Molina (unassisted), 24:00. 2, Spt, Piper Frank (Kiley Webster), 30:00. Second half — None.
Shots on goal — Spt 5, CV 15.
Saves — CV, Kaufman 3; Spt, Hattie Larson 3, Shea Kilpatrick 8.