By Mike Bebernes
A remarkable goal by sophomore Ying Fry gave Marin Academy a 1-0 victory over Lick-Wilmerding in the Bay Counties League West championship on Friday at Kezar Stadium.
In the first minute of the second half, Fry fired a corner kick that curved in the air, struck high off the far goalpost and ricocheted into the net for the only goal of the contest.
“I’d like to say [I did it on purpose],” Fry said. “I did try to kick a really good corner and it just ended up going in.”
“To be honest, when she’s taking the corner, she’s not necessarily looking to score on it,” said Marin Academy Head Coach Joshua Kalkstein. “It was a fortunate strike for us, but we’ll take it.”
The Tigers (10-6-1) played strong defense in the first half, as the Wildcats failed to muster a single shot on in the first 40 minutes.
Lick-Wilmerding had the lion’s share of early scoring opportunities, but failed to get a foot on a handful of cross attempts that skidded across an open net. The Tigers nearly scored on a curving corner themselves, but the shot careened of the crossbar.
“In soccer sometimes those bounces go your way, sometimes they don’t,” said Lick-Wilmerding Head Coach Matt Kurnick.
The teams entered halftime in a scoreless tie. Marin Academy came out of the half with a high level of intensity that brought them a number of scoring chances in the early minutes of the second half. Fry’s goal came on a corner kick that was forced by heavy pressure on the Tiger defense.
“I think mentally, our team decided it was in our heart to win. We just wanted it really bad,” said Fry.
“Those who create more chances get more goals and in the second half, we certainly were creating more chances,” said Kalkstein.
Lick-Wilmerding’s senior goalkeeper Olivia Levine kept the Tigers within striking distance with five great saves, including blocking a penalty kick by Wildcat senior Alysse Godino.
“She’s an amazing keeper. She played a great year, especially in the playoffs. She came up big for us today like she always does,” said Kurnick.
In the closing minutes of the match, the Tigers scrambled to put together a number of quality scoring chances, but could not keep their shots on target.
“We dodged a couple bullets,” said Kalkstein.
The win allowed the Wildcats to close the season on a 14-game unbeaten streak.