The Bellevue Bulldogs presented a scoring clinic to the fans and family on hand by giving them the biggest victory of the year over rival Highline. The team won the game 5-0 with goals from five different players and a clean sheet from goalie Kristina Myles. The hot win offset the chilly conditions of the game, which involved a few injuries.
Even in the first half, when Bellevue only scored one goal, the team had plenty of chances, as the ball spent most of the time in Highline’s end of the field. Their best attempts came off corner kicks, but there were also a number of great balls placed in prime position by both Jaclyn Smith and Shelby Blair. It was on one of Smith’s assists that the first goal was scored in the 28th minute, as she sent a hard ball in at the Highline goalie. The goalie managed to save a pair of shots in the exchange, but the ball deflected to Deirdre Dornay to put the score at 1-0.
“Early in the game we were playing a little bit of kickball. We focused on passes and that showed in the second half,” said Coach Frank Lee.
It was the second half of the game when Bellevue took advantage of Highline’s defense, though things didn’t start off well. In the 49th minute, Blair was injured and did not return to the field. Only a few minutes later, Kayla Longlaker took a dangerous slide tackle from behind, on which no card was given, and left the game for much of the second half.
The onslaught started in the 53rd minute when Nicole Smith took a deflection off the goalie’s hands after a free kick from Kayla Kasper. Jaclyn Smith knocked in a goal the 66th, before Brittney Conway notched one in the 70th. Conway’s goal was especially impressive as it was nearly a solo effort. Conway ran with the ball from midfield, maneuvered past two defenders, and shot it past a charging goalie to take a 4-0 lead. April Saffell finished off the scoring after getting an assist from Dornay with a great shot to the top left corner of the net in the 82nd minute.
“I was just trying to play hard, just trying to get on goal,” Saffell said.
Men follow lead
While not quite as big of a victory as the women’s team, the men did themselves proud avenging a road tie to Highline earlier in the year to rack up a 3-1 win.
It was a good day for Keiichi Ando, as he was on the delivering end of two goals for the winning side. His first came in the 35th minute, as Matt Eronemo slid a beautiful ball through the defense to Ando, and Ando finished it off to start the scoring.
Ando’s second tally came in the second half after making a long run, and poking it past the goalie’s left side. Ando only took two shots in the game, and to turn both into goals was impressive. Radcliff Mcdougald brought the score to an almost insurmountable 3-0 in the final third of the game.
Highline attempted to mount a comeback in the 85th minute, as Highline forward Bundu Koroma caught Bellevue goalkeeper Fabien Morales out of his box for their sole point of the match. The game ended soon after as Bellevue took a win from their rivals.
“We played well. We’re starting to play like we should,” said Bellevue defender Jesse Sorteberg.
The game was the team’s first since Chris Werre and Joe Rinke were awarded roster spots on the NWAACC all-academic team.
“I just try to work hard in whatever I do, and it’s nice when it pays off, both in soccer and academically.” Werre said.