This story was corrected on Oct. 19. An explanation follows.In 11 games this season, Idrienne Walker has been defended by half a dozen defensive schemes. She has been guarded by two, three and even four players. She has been face guarded and shadowed, subjected to dirty play and various combinations of zone coverage. The most effective strategy to date, however, might be one employed by an umpire, who accidentally tackled Walker in Tuesday night's game against Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Aside from the brush with the referee, the Bullis senior has been as unstoppable and her performance in Tuesday's 5-1 victory against the Falcons was no exception. Walker scored two goals and assisted another on her senior night and created opportunities for teammates Jane Beightol and Colette Roa, who combined for three more goals.
“The beauty is that if they — well, two things — if they face guard [Walker], which a lot of teams do, I just pull her out of it and let us run our attack with her out of it and put her on defense and we can still run our attack,” Bullis (11-0) coach Julie Delinsky said. “The other thing is if she gets the ball, because of her speed, she can still beat that person. So it may be hard to get her the ball when they're on her like that, but when she gets free with the ball, it's really hard to guard her.”
Good Counsel (6-8) coach Theda Bagdon opted for a zone defense in which Walker was double-teamed at all times, but, as Delinsky said, the speed of the 400-meter Independent School League champion was too much to contain.
“At one point she blew past like seven of our girls,” Bagdon said. “She's a phenomenal athlete, just unbelievable … having just two people on her didn't work.”
Walker's first goal came less than two minutes after the opening whistle. She took in a pass down the right side and slipped by a defender. Some nifty ball control left her all alone with the goalkeeper and she whistled a shot by into the left corner of the net for her ninth goal of the season.
On a penalty corner 10 minutes later, Walker took in a pass at the top of the circle and pushed in a shot that the Falcons goalie kicked away. But in Good Counsel's haste to get the ball off of Walker's stick, it left the inside of the circle greatly outmanned, and Beightol was there for the rebound.
The score remained 2-0 through the next 25 minutes as Good Counsel's goalie deflected 12 consecutive shots and kept the Falcons close. Walker, however, cut through the defense again and into the middle of the circle. She then blasted another shot and Beightol redirected the ball into the net for her second goal. Two minutes later, Walker matched Beightol with her second goal.
Good Counsel, a representative in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game each of the past three years, began to play better in the second half.
It produced five shots in the second half and Caroline Peters scored for the Falcons, who were coming off a WCAC victory over Elizabeth Seton just the night before.
“I told them to act,” Bagdon said. “Stop reacting, act.”
As has happened to so many teams before Good Counsel, no actions could stop or contain Walker and the Bulldogs, who are likely to receive the top seed in the ISL playoffs.
“I love my team so much,” Walker said. “I couldn't ask for a better team. We're all friends off the field and we're friends on the field so I just know they appreciate [winning] as much as I do.”
firstname.lastname@example.orgThe original version of this story had the incorrect name of the Good Counsel goalie. Sarah Holliday is the goalie for Bullis.
Bullis 5, Good Counsel 1
Good Counsel (6-8) 0 1 — 1
Bullis (11-0) 2 3 — 5
Good Counsel — Caroline Peters
Bullis — Idrienne Walker (2), Jane Beightol (2), Colette Roa
Bullis — Idrienne Walker