Hulse knocks in two in shutout of Brookings-Harbor

The Warrior girls soccer season ended on a good note with a 2-0 victory over Brookings-Harbor on Thursday on the Del Norte soccer field.

Senior Hailey Hulse broke through for two goals, one in the 34th minute and another in the 78th, to secure the Warriors' win.

Head coach Clar Byers said it was the first time in Hulse's career that she scored twice in the same game.

"She was a little more aggressive," Byers said. "Her speed just picked up, and she all of a sudden had this sprint in her to get to balls. She stayed pretty much in her position and it was pretty much about her being in the right position for her to take those shots. It just seemed like Brookings was leaving the right side open and we were getting it over there."

The first goal came towards the end of the first half. Del Norte worked the ball slowly up the field, and a series of kicks and redirections landed the ball at Hulse's feet with a clear shot on goal that she chipped around the keeper to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

Late in the second half, Hulse again struck goal when junior Silvia Cajita tapped a pass to Hulse on the right side. Hulse had a defender on her back, but she was able to get enough power on her shot to get through the keeper's legs for a 2-0 lead.

Although Del Norte finished the game with a two-goal advantage, most of the game was evenly played.

Brookings had roughly as many scoring opportunities in the game as the Warriors did, including a beautiful shot in about the 60th minute. The ball went towards the upper left corner of the goal, and Del Norte keeper Kira Standring just barely got a hand on it, pushing the ball up into the crossbar, where it bounced over the back for a corner kick. It was one of several nice stops for the senior keeper.

"The game back-and-forth was pretty even," Byers said. "I think we were a little more aggressive. After taking the hit from Arcata last night, they were really up to the challenge of wanting to finish out the season with a win. They settled down and they were passing the ball. I would have liked to see the ball control a little bit, but it was a good way to end the season."

After struggling for wins all season long, the girls were excited to end the season with a victory.

"It is kind of like winning a championship," Byers said. "To close out with a win when we have been struggling was fun. Most of our games have been really decent - we have lost by one or two goals."

The Warriors finished the season 4-15, 0-8 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5, but five of those losses were by one goal, and three more were by two goals.

Although the team lost a lot of close games, the girls had fun together this season.

"Although we lacked some skills and some speed, for the most part everybody came out and practiced," Byers said. "They really pulled together as a team and tried to play together as a team. It is a very cohesive group. There wasn't too much friction between players."

Byers also said this team in particular, has a flair for the practical joke.

"There have been a little bit more shenanigans this year than we have had, but it has been in good fun," he said.

Those shenanigans were on full display after the Warriors victory as the girls attacked one another and the coaching staff with shaving cream and water balloons in a postgame celebration.

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