Soccer: South Kitsap's season ends in shootout

The soccer goal remained the same size as usual.

But for South Kitsap, it must have felt as large as a postage stamp.

The Wolves failed to convert on four of their five attempts during Saturday’s shootout in the West Central District playoffs against the Conquerors at Mount Tahoma High School.

Kentwood, which improved to 14-3-1 after its eighth consecutive victory, advances to the Class 4A state playoffs. South finishes its season with a 9-3-5 mark.

Becca Schoales and Kelsey Callaghan both missed penalty kicks and goalkeeper Courtney Johnson saved the Wolves’ third attempt by Riley Dopps. But the Conquerors only had a one-goal advantage during the shootout at that point because after Kiana Kraft put their first shot into the left side of the net, goalkeeper Brianna Smallige saved a shot by Courtney Roller and Madison Fuller followed with a miss.

South junior forward Amy Bakalarski then tied the shootout, 1-all, when her shot landed in the left corner of the net. But Kentwood midfielder Reilly Retz gave her team a 2-1 edge when she beat a diving Smallige with a shot into the right corner. Johnson then tipped a shot by junior midfielder Kailey Lyman that dribbled around the goal line before stopping. An official determined that it did not cross the plane and the game ended.

“We actually have practiced PK’s a ton,” South coach Julie Cain said. “I think it was their nerves.”

It marked the second consecutive year that the Conquerors ended the Wolves’ season. Kentwood shut out South, 1-0, in last year’s state playoff quarterfinals. It marked the 18th time in 2009 that the Conquerors held an opponent scoreless. Kentwood has accomplished that feat 10 times this season.

“There was a lot of turnover,” Radford said. “It took the whole first half of the season to get us feeling like we could play together as a team.”

The Wolves took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when senior midfielder Riley Dopps scored on a 26-yard kick from the left hash mark.

“I haven’t had many shots that far out,” said Dopps, who added that she will play college soccer at Seattle Pacific University after previously committing to Boise State. “It dropped in nicely.”

The Conquerors tied the game in the 38th when Kraft’s shot off hit off the left post and went into the goal.

“Giving up one on a corner is kind of a bummer,” Cain said.

She said she felt Kentwood outplayed her team during the second half and the shots indicated that. Kraft had a potential game-winning goal ricochet off the top crossbar in the 79th. Roller also had a shot that went just right of the post in the 86th and midfielder Kelley Sindelar had another one go right of the goal two minutes later.

“I was hoping one of my players would put it away earlier,” said Radford, adding that he never had won a playoff shootout before Saturday.

Despite the result, Cain said she was impressed with her team. Callaghan and Dopps were the only two seniors who started. In addition, she said Dopps (mononucleosis) and Schoales (ankle) played at less than full health.

“To come out here and play as well as we did — I’m proud of them,” she said.

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