It’s safe to say that Kylie Hunter is stoked to be back on the soccer pitch.
After missing the first month of the season, the Mount Si junior goalkeeper sported a wide smile and added a chuckle or two after delivering a clean sheet in her first full match back in action as the Wildcats tied North Creek, 0-0, in overtime on Oct. 1 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.
Hunter, who sustained a broken right hand while making a save over the crossbar during her final practice with her Eastside FC squad, made a few saves against North Creek and is ready for more time on the pitch. In her first match back on Sept. 27 at home against Rogers of Puyallup, the 0-0 game was called after 20 minutes because of lightning strikes.
“It’s great, being out here with this team… I missed it. We wait all year to get back with our high-school mates and it’s just, it’s good to be back. I’m glad that I can help do what I can for my team and build out of the back again,” Hunter said.
Both teams had plenty of chances to win the match on Oct. 1, but the nets remained empty. Mount Si had two shots on goal in the first half and blasted back in the second half with 12 shots on goal. At press time, the Wildcats were 1-2-2 in 4A KingCo and 1-3-4 overall.
“In terms of play, we’ve been getting better and better with every single game we’ve had, which is exactly what we wanna see heading into the second half of the season,” said head coach Sophie Rockow.
Senior midfielder Carly Britton and freshman forward Sydney Dunn have been bright spots on the squad, which has been plagued with injuries. The Wildcats are nearly back at full strength and Rockow can’t wait to get there.
“We’re really starting, I think, to get going in terms of our play, putting all of our pieces together. When we have all of our players back, we’re heading towards good things,” she said.
Putting forth 100-percent effort and playing a full 80 minutes — or 90, if overtime comes into play — is what Rockow stresses each match.
“The best part is probably that no matter what happens, every game we just keep going and we push forward. If we let a goal in, shake it off, we get right back into it. That’s what I love about it,” said Hunter, a second-year varsity player.
Hunter added that life lessons are aplenty on the pitch, such as playing a solid game and not letting other teams’ comments affect how they go about their business.