Sports

Hungry SK soccer team seeking to define itself

Riley Dopps, center, leads a “stacked” midfield for the Wolves this season.  - File photo
Riley Dopps, center, leads a “stacked” midfield for the Wolves this season.
— image credit: File photo

When the Narrows became a multi-classification league this year, the margin for error became smaller.

That’s because there are only eight schools in the Class 4A Narrows, which means only half of those teams advance to the playoffs.

And unlike the past, there is no league tournament, which means the top four teams are seeded based on record into the West Central District Tournament.

All that means for the Wolves, who advanced to the state quarterfinals and finished with a 14-1-3 record last year, is that they need to play better than they showed to start this season.

After a pair of easy nonleague wins against North Kitsap and Lincoln, South Kitsap opened Narrows play with ties versus Stadium and Central Kitsap.

“We were really working on defining ourselves,” South coach Julie Cain said. “We had two ties where we just haven’t battled in the middle of the field as we should.”

That was not an issue Tuesday as the Wolves earned their first league win, 4-1, against Olympia.

Sophomore forward Becca Schoales scored three goals and classmate Shannon Powers added another.

“We just dominated,” Cain said.

Even with the graduation of Christina Boddie, who now plays at the University of Idaho, midfield appears to be the Wolves’ strength. Seniors Kelsey Callaghan and Riley Dopps, junior Kailey Lyman and sophomore Miranda Caballero comprise that unit.

“We’re pretty stacked in the midfield,” Cain said.

She already has played Dopps at three different positions this season, but Cain thinks she will stick with her in the midfield. Cain said Dopps excels at taking opponents on, which fits nicely at that position.

South is young at forward, but not inexperienced.

Schoales and fellow sophomore Brita Oleson both were varsity mainstays a year ago.

“Becca and Brita are who we had up top last year,” Cain said. “Both of them can really play with some pace.”

Juniors Jessica Johnson and Logan Stec and sophomores Shannon Beisley and Delaney Diglovanni are the starting defenders.

“Our back line is pretty young, but they’re really coming together,” Cain said.

Junior Brianna Smallige, who saw time on varsity last year, replaces the graduated Holly Sieler as the starting goalkeeper. Smallige has allowed three goals in five games this season.

“She’s just strong and she battles,” Cain said. “I feel really secure with her back there.”

Cain knows they will be challenged.

The Wolves host perennial league power Bellarmine Prep on Tuesday. South beat the Lions twice a year ago.

“That’s always a battle for us,” she said.

But it is not just Bellarmine. In addition to the Wolves, Central Kitsap, Gig Harbor, Olympia and Stadium all could vie for playoff spots. That is why Cain said her team must continue to play with the intensity it displayed against Olympia to earn one.

SK Soccer at a Glance

• Coach: Julie Cain, second season.

• Key returners: MF Miranda Caballero, so.; MF Kelsey Callaghan, sr.; MF Riley Dopps, sr.; MF Kailey Lyman, jr.; F Brita Oleson, so.; F Becca Schoales, so.; GK Brianna Smallidge, jr.

• Key departures: MF Christina Boddie, graduated; D Dana Goularte, sr.; MF Miranda Ness, graduated; GK Holly Sieler, sr.; MF Kelsey Stoner, graduated; D Brianna Waldron, graduated.

• Top newcomers: D Shannon Beisley, so.; D Delaney Diglovanni, so.; D Jessica Johnson, jr.; F Shannon Powers, so.; D Logan Stec, jr.

2010 South Kitsap Soccer Schedule

Tuesday Bellarmine 7 p.m.

Thursday at Shelton 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 Gig Harbor 7 p.m.

Oct. 7 Stadium 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 Central Kitsap 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Olympia 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 Mount Tahoma 7 p.m.

Oct. 21 at Bellarmine 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 Shelton 7 p.m.

Oct. 28 at Gig Harbor 5:15 p.m.

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