Rapisura's 'Brace' Ends Wildcats Year On High Note
By Jeremy McDonald
ANTELOPE—After a slow first 15 minutes of the game, Whitney roared to life to finish the season with a 3-0 victory over Antelope Monday night.
In her final game in the Maroon and Gold, Alyssa Rapisura scored two second half goals to help the Wildcats build a cushion against a physical Titans squad.
“It means a lot,” said Rapisura on finishing strong. “I played for four years so winning this last game is a lot for me.”
It took a few minutes for Whitney to find their groove against a 2-11-1 Antelope team that were gunning for a senior night win to end their season on a high note as well.
In the 21st minute, sophomore forward Sami Craig broke the scoreless tie. The ‘Cats strained trying to get the ball passed the Titans’ sophomore goalie, Hannah Harris before the end of the half.
Playing in her first varsity game, Brooke Hansen took the reins of goal netting from junior Cheyenne Foster and made two big saves within the first 10 minutes of her debut.
“She did awesome,” said Head Coach Ana Jones on Hansen’s first impressions. “The good thing is the backline trusted her. She played really well. (She) played composed that’s what I’m expecting of her.
Despite some nerves playing in her first varsity game, Jones had a message.
“You had nothing to lose, this is our last game,” she said to Hansen. “I want you up, I want to see what you can do and she did great.”
With the backline of Whitney playing strong, it helped push the ball up to their strikers and attackers to put pressure on Harris that led to Rapisura’s first goal, set up by Sarah Scott’s through pass in the 57th minute.
“We practice a lot of team bonding ,” said Rapisura of her team finishing strong. “We get to know each other and trust each other.”
Rapisura would get her second goal of the ‘brace’ feat with three minutes to go to ice the game as the Whitney 4-5-1 defense limited the Titans offense in the second half. Britney Flint assisted on that goal.
“Tonight was one of those games we should’ve came in a little bit stronger,” said Jones. “The goals we scored, the last two we scored, we’re beautiful . Well executed. We had freshman stepping up to the plate having (Rapisura) finish those passes.”
Whitney finished the season 5-9-5 and finished sixth in the Capital Valley Conference after being in the Division-II section final game in 2014.
But confidence is high for 2016.
“Am I sad the season is over? Absoultely because you want to move on,” said Jones. “But I’m pleased with the results for next year.”