EVERETT — After a rough week, Jackson’s girls soccer team met Monday to regroup and refocus.
The Timberwolves did that and then some, dominating possession in a 2-0 Wesco 4A victory over Monroe Tuesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“We felt like the last few games we weren’t playing as well as we should have,” said Jackson head coach Jesslyn Kellerman.
Jackson dropped games against Snohomish and Squalicum last week, and played to a 0-0 tie with Lake Stevens. The Timberwolves scored one goal in all three games combined.
It took 27 minutes for Jackson to equal that total Monday night. Lynnae George dribbled past the Monroe defenders and sent the ball to Nikole Hovland who put it in the back of the net to give the Timberwolves the lead. Jackson had dominated possession in the first half, outshooting Monroe eight-to-one.
After the Timberwolves missed a couple of other scoring opportunities after halftime, Brittany Orlosky added an insurance goal for the Timberwolves’ in the 62nd minute with a strike from 20 yards out.
“I think this was our best full game this season,” Kellerman said. “The girls came out with a lot of energy.”
Kellerman said that her players wanted to control the ball and keep it on the ground so they could “play to our feet.” The Timberwolves continued to control the ball in the second half, limiting Monroe to just two close scoring opportunities.
“That’s how we’ve been wanting to — and needing to — play all season,” Kellerman said. “We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t finish. It could have been an even bigger win. The girls controlled possession of the game.”
Jackson capitalized on two of its many chances to score. With the ball constantly on the Bearcats’ side of the field, the Timberwolves launched quite a few shots that sailed over the crossbar or went wide one direction or the other. By the end of the game, Jackson had 20 shots on goal to Monroe’s three.
“Now we know how we can play,” Kellerman said. “We hadn’t put together a full game. We’ve played moments well. The girls will get confidence knowing this is how we can play.”
Callie Vanaelst recorded the shutout in goal for the Timberwolves, but wasn’t challenged often. She was called upon to make three saves over the course of the game. It was the sixth shutout of the season for Jackson (4-3-2 league, 4-4-2 overall).
Vanaelst’s best save came in the 66th minute, when she dove to the ground to block a Monroe shot that came from almost front and center of the penalty area. The Bearcats got some rare pressure on Jackson and drove down the field before Vanaelst ended the threat. It was the best — and last — scoring opportunity for Monroe.
Going into the game, the Bearcats (5-3, 5-4-1) had been tied with Snohomish for first place in the Wesco 4A North division. But Monroe’s loss, coupled with an 8-0 Panthers win over Mariner, moved Snohomish into sole possession of the lead.
Jackson remains in the middle of the pack in the Wesco 4A South. Kellerman liked what she saw from her team and hopes it can continue to play at this pace for the rest of the season.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” she said. “After a tough loss on Saturday, I put them up to a challenge to play as well as they could. And they did that. I think everyone played really well.”
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Goals—Nikole Hovland (J), Brittany Orlosky (J). Assists—Lynnae George (J). Goalkeepers—Monroe: Sydney Day. Jackson: Callie Vanaelst. Records—Monroe 5-3 league, 5-4-1 overall. Jackson 4-3-2, 4-4-2.