Brendan Yu
Curry Coastal Pilot

The Brookings-Harbor girls soccer team could not overcome an early goal and had their season ended after a 1-0 loss to Henley at their home pitch in Saturday afternoon’s play-in round.

Henley’s shot came in the sixth minute, when junior forward Syndee Howard unloaded a shot from the right wing. Goalkeeper Annie Nation got two hands on the ball in what looked like a surefire save, but the ball spun its way out of her hands and into the net.

That was all the Hornets (7-5-3, 4-3-3 Skyline Conference) needed, as they dominated possession of the ball and continuously exerted pressure throughout the game. Asides from the early mishap, the Bruins (8-5, 8-2 Far West League) were more than game on the defensive end, with Nation recording 12 saves.

Offensively speaking however, the Bruins could not rise to the occasion, as the number of times they created a scoring opportunity were few and far between. The Bruins mustered 8 shots on goal, compared to the Hornet’s 13, in the loss.

The Bruins had free kicks in the 20th, 60th and 68th minute, but each time the ball was quickly pushed out by the Hornet defense.

"We played like we did all season; there was no offense, (we had) very few shots,” said head coach Fernando Villa. “You (have) to score in order to win, they got lucky on a bounce, the ball had a spin to it— it hit the post and went in.

"It was a well-fought game defensively from both sides, they just happened to get the lucky shot in."

The Hornets are just the third team to shutout the Bruins this season, who averaged 4 goals per game prior to Saturday’s contest. Throughout the season, the Hornets have held their opponents to just 0.7 goals per game, and are now on a five game shutout streak.

According to Villa, the team’s shortcoming partially stemmed from a lack of offensively minded forwards, an issue that can only be remedied by players who naturally possess a score-oriented mentality.

“I don’t get to pick the kids, you have to have those that are natural forwards,” Villa explained. We have a natural goalkeeper and she’s gonna be good in the years to come, we have midfielders and defenders that are pretty solid. But offensively if you don’t have natural forwards it’s going to be to develop in years time...It’s just trying to get that forward mentality.”