FLC falls in championship
FOLSOM – At the beginning of the season, the Forest Lake Christian girls soccer team didn’t have its sights set on anything as grandiose as a trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship.
Then, with two games left in the season the Falcons lost not only their leading scorer but Central Valley Christian League MVP Jessica Raskin for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
So when the Falcons found themselves at Prairie City Stadium in Folsom on Saturday morning, they’d already accomplished more than they’d ever imagined.
All that didn’t do much to help the sting of a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Capital Christian – the second time in as many years the Falcons fell by one goal in the section championship game.
The teams headed into the second half in a scoreless tie, but with 13 minutes left in regulation Capital Christian’s Brittany Flanagan found Stephanie Long, who punched it in for the lead.
Forest Lake senior Shelby Lowe decided she’d seen enough of that because less than one minute later she tied the game up off an assist from Chelsea McGirr. That goal carried the game into overtime and eventually into a second OT.
Halfway through the second overtime, however, Flanagan once again found Long for the goal, and this time the Falcons didn’t have an answer.
“They were basically playing Flanagan ball,” Forest Lake Christian coach Alane Burke said. “The whole game they were just trying to hit Flanagan’s feet.”
The plan was partly successful. Flanagan didn’t score in the game, but she did tally an assist on both of Capital Christian’s goals. The fact the Falcons were able to contain Flanagan was quite a feat in and of itself.
According to Maxpreps.com, Flanagan played in 16 games this season and scored at least one goal in every game except her first back on March 15 and her last. Flanagan finished the season with 37 goals and 34 assists.
Still, even with Raskin on the bench the Falcons out-shot Capital Christian 14-13 and each goalie made eight saves.
And while the team may be disappointed over the loss, the future certainly looks bright for the Falcons. While Forest Lake does lose six seniors that will be difficult to replace, the Falcons also have five freshmen that now have a full season of varsity play under their belts.
“I think us five freshmen are only going to get better,” said Logan Burke. “We hadn’t all played together before this year.”
It didn’t take long for everyone to get on the same page, however.
“I think that was because of our seniors and our captains,” Logan said. “We weren’t looked down upon at all. We were completely trusted and we all played as one.”
Coach Burke saw the same thing.
“After the game, they all shared how much they all meant to each other,” Alane Burke said. “A lot of them said this was the tightest team they’d ever been on. The camaraderie was amazing.
“You want to hear that as a coach.”
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Another week on the track and another win for Brad Sweet.