Knee injuries took two top-performing upperclassmen off the Anacortes High School soccer team this year, but the Seahawks still made it to the district competition.

However, the girls — who earned a regular season record of 3-7-3 in league and 5-9-3 overall — lost in their first round game to Liberty to end their season.

Earlier in the week, Monday, Oct. 28, the girls lost to Squalicum 2-0.

In that game, Claire Schnabel made 26 saves against the Storm.

At the Bi-District 2A Tournament, the Liberty Patriots topped the Seahawks 6-1.

Emma Foley scored the Seahawks’ lone goal. Coach Gretchen Hanson said the team got good play from seniors Ellie Chambers and Abby Hylton.

“It was a great experience for my girls to see that caliber of play, and we used it as an opportunity to grow and learn,” she wrote in an email.

This season in general was full of “growth and future potential,” she said.

Early in the season, the Kephart sisters both suffered season-ending injuries. That left a hole the team had to work hard to fill, Hanson wrote.

“We worked all season to gain confidence and to build team cohesive play offensively and defensively,” she wrote in her email. “We were progressing beautifully for such a young team. Two more players suffered major concussions in our game against Lynden and we lost two more major contributors. One returned for our district game.”

The game against Lynden brought up one of the highlights for Hanson this year. The team lost to Lynden but only 1-0, something worthy of pride against the No. 1 team in the region, Hanson wrote.

“Our defensive game proved to my young team, they can play with anyone in our league,” she said. “My game changers stepped up and filled positions that injuries had left vacant.”

Another highlight this year was a homecoming week win against Sedro Woolley.

A challenge for the team was “cohesive, confident play especially with injury setbacks,” Hanson wrote.

This year, there were eight varsity returners, including three seniors, and 11 first-time varsity players. The seniors on the team are Ellison Kephart, Ellie Chambers, Abby Hylton and Kassie Jenson.

Next year, 15 players will return to the team, and Hanson said prospects are good.

“With as many wins and more ties than last year, we have set a great foundation for the future and I already am looking forward to next year,” she wrote. “The future is bright. The community showed wonderful support for our young team and I hope all are looking forward to more Seahawk wins in the coming years!”

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