Sports

Girls soccer: Rivalry ends in stalemate again

There is truth to the old adage this year.

When it comes to the rivalry, it really is a toss-up for South Kitsap’s girls soccer team.

The Wolves found that out for a second time this season as they again tied Central Kitsap, 0-0, on Tuesday at Joe Knowles Field.

“Everybody is strong and everybody is well coached,” CK coach Vicky Webb said. “We match up well with them.”

But more than anything, the tie might be detrimental to South’s playoff positioning as two consecutive draws have knocked it from a tie for first into third place in the Class 4A Narrows League.

Because there no longer is a league tournament, teams are seeded based on their record into the West Central District Tournament. Only four teams in 4A Narrows advance, which could leave the Wolves (7-0-4 overall, 5-0-4 league) with a less favorable placement than they had 10 days ago.

“You would prefer to be first and play a theoretically easier team,” Cain said. “But we’ll take what we get.”

The Cougars (3-3-5, 2-3-4) trailed Gig Harbor and Olympia by three points for the final playoff berth. There are five Narrows games remaining after this week.

“That’s what’s hard about it,” Webb said. “It’s a battle of numbers more than anything else.

But records were meaningless between the rivals as CK nearly pulled out the upset. Sophomore forward Paige Serwold’s shot toward the left side of the net was blocked by the stretched arms of South junior goalkeeper Brianna Smallidge in the 60th minute. The gasps along the Wolves’ sideline were audible.

“Brianna saved our necks twice,” Cain said. “She had a great game.”

South, which outshot the Cougars 11-8, had an opportunity to win it in 78th. But sophomore Shannon Powers’ shot toward the left side of the goal was saved by junior Marilyn Prosser.

“We were extremely strong in the defense and our goalkeeper did an amazing job,” said Webb, adding that she felt senior defender Taylor Gillespie played particularly well. “I can’t be more proud of them.”

Cain said she is hopeful that the Wolves can become healthy as the playoffs approach. Defender Dana Goularte (back) was forced to sit out her senior year, while junior Sammy Daniels (partially torn Achilles tendon) will not return this season.

But Cain is hopeful that standout midfielder Riley Dopps (mononucleosis) will return next week and the team’s leading scorer, sophomore Becca Schoales, who suffered a sprained right ankle on the first play of the second half, could have even a quicker timetable. Cain said considered her probable for Thursday’s match at Olympia.

“We’ve just had a year of injuries,” she said. “But we have some kids getting some good experience on the bench. Hopefully toward the end of the season that depth will help us.”

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