Skagit Valley holds off late 2nd half rally from Shoreline

University of Washington men's soccer team plays Seattle University in the second round of the NCAA tournamentBy: Drew Raher

Shoreline, WA – The Dolphins went toe-for-toe with the Cardinals of Skagit Valley in the second half of Wednesday’s conference game, but could not make up for a sluggish first half ending offensively. While the Dolphins would only finish shooting 27% going into the locker room, Shoreline opened the half clicking on the offensive end as they worked the ball inside and found their range from the perimeter. There was a nice balanced attack with multiple Dolphin players knocking down jump shots.

The Dolphins remained in a zone defense for the majority of the first half, hoping that a different look defensively may give the opponent some fits. Midway through the first period though the Dolphin offense stalled, giving Skagit Valley the opportunity to stake a 12-point lead going into halftime.

The Cardinals’ Melissa Stadt led the way off the bench with 10 first half points on 5 of 7 shooting, while Samantha Kelleigh chipped in with nine points. Shoreline, on the other hand was led by second-year guard Emily Wilbur (So, Townsend, MT) who tallied 10 points herself, finishing perfect from the charity stripe. The rebounding battle was fairly similar with the Dolphins up 30-27, but Shoreline could not play defense without using their hands as they picked up 12 team fouls, which sent the Cardinals to the free throw line 18 times before half.

The second period began with a Bianca Benavides (So, Tukwila, WA) three-pointer from the right corner, which energized the Shoreline side. Skagit Valley would answer right back though as Linda Wilson would score four straight as Skagit Valley and the Dolphins would trade hoops for the opening part of the second period. The Dolphins would momentarily play some man-to-man defense, but after 5 team fouls only two-and-a-half minutes in, head coach Darnellia Russell was forced to go back to the zone.

As the game neared the finale, Shoreline would make a late charge to close the deficit with Benavides knocking down consecutive perimeter jump shots as she finished with a season-high 19 points on 5 of 11 shooting from outside. Benavides not did it offensively, but hounded the opposing point guard all game as she performed admirably in her 33 minutes of playing time. Wilbur also recorded a season-high with 20 points on 9 of 11 shooting at the line. The Dolphins leading scorer on the season Breyana Dutro (Fr, Kalihi, HI) who came in averaging just over 13 points on the season also contributed 10 points on the night.

Skagit Valley was led by Samantha Kelleigh and Melissa Stadt who both tossed in 16 points on the evening for the Cardinals who move to (11-5, 3-1).

Shoreline Community College (2-10, 0-4) will next travel to face Edmonds Community College who also is winless in NWAACC North Division play. The Dolphins hope to earn their first victory on the road this Saturday January 18th.

For complete Dolphins schedule and results are available on the Athletics website. Watch all of our games on YouTube.  Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for daily Dolphin updates.

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