Natalie Weidenbach had a heckuva birthday.
As a new player on the Wildcat squad, Weidenbach made her first varsity assist, firing a free kick to senior Leah Corra in the third minute to kick-start Mount Si’s 2-0 win over the Juanita Rebels last Thursday, Sept. 12.
Weidenbach is used to taking the free kicks on her national-champion Eastside FC club team. But this was a special one for the freshman, who turned 15 that day.
“I was so focused,” she said. “Once I drove it there, I trusted my teammate to finish.”
“When my teammates can do great things like that, I’m proud of them, and of myself,” Weidenbach added.
Head coach Darren Brown urged the team to keep their heads high after Thursday’s win—the girls had been hungry for a victory of even wider margins, and had opportunities for at least three more shots. Claire Johnson scored Mount Si’s second goal in the first quarter to seal the deal.
“They want perfection,” said Brown, who complimented the Mount Si back line and goalie Nellie Joselyn for strong play.
Joselyn, a league leader, had her second shutout in a row,
A sophomore, she in turn praised Weidenbach and the Mount Si defenders.
“There’s been challenging moments, but it’s been real good,” she said of her first season thus far at goal. “They’ve made it pretty easy on me.”
The ‘Cats are making progress on the attack, and Brown is seeing steps of improvement in runs and transitions. He gave match player awards to Corra and Weidenbach for what Brown called their “breath-taking first-goal connection.”
A soccer player since age 6, Weidenbach thanks her club and program coaches for helping her find success.
Following the game, she followed Brown off the field, discussing the game.
“I’m always there to talk to my coaches,” she said.
She’s finding varsity play just as technical as club work, but more aggressive and fast-paced.
Weidenbach believes her greatest skill is her hunger: “I want to win. I want to improve.”
“I’m so excited to be at every game,” she said. I love touching the ball. Having a birthday just added a few points.”
The Wildcats scored late to beat Cedarcrest, 2-0, in a non-league exhibition game Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Sophia Rouches and Zoe Virta scored for the ‘Cats. Rouches, said Brown, “attacked all night which we needed going forward,” while Virta “brought a spark off the bench with energy and a bulldog mentality.”
They shared match player honors with defender McKenzie Popp.
One game into league play, it’s a good start for the Wildcats.
Mount Si lost their first game, Sept. 6, against Issaquah, 3-0.
Mount Si is now 2-1.
• The Mount Si girls play host to Sammamish at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. The Wildcats are on the road Monday, Sept. 23, at Lake Washington.