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Boys soccer: Reigning state champs dump Wolves, 3-0
Forget an acclimation period.
After graduating a dozen seniors, South Kitsap’s boys soccer team faced defending Class 4A state champion Stadium in its second game of the season.
The result was predictable as the Tigers won 3-0 in the 4A Narrows League opener for both schools Wednesday at the Stadium Bowl.
“They’re a fantastic team,” Ritchie said. “They got a lot of (club) Washington Premier boys and a lot of balance to their team.”
Stadium (2-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 league) needed just 15 minutes to take a 2-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Jacob Beardemphl scored on a rebound off a free kick and junior midfielder Cesar Cervantes followed on an assist from Max Harvey.
Ritchie said he never is satisfied after a loss, but added that he was happy that the Wolves (1-1-0, 0-1-0) did not allow the game to dissolve into a blowout.
“It’s an absolute credit to my boys,” he said. “I’m proud of my boys.”
Junior midfielder Nico de la Cruz gave South perhaps its best opportunity to score, but his shot went wide left with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. De la Cruz had another scoring opportunity in the 52nd, but also missed as Stadium goalkeepers Ian Clark and Eric Owen combined for the shutout.
Despite that, Ritchie felt his team applied much more pressure during the opening of the second half.
“I thought it was much more competitive,” he said.
Ritchie said he believes some of that momentum was lost when Harvey scored on a penalty kick in the 55th.
He said the opportunity to play the Tigers early in the season provides a gauge for where his team is. South plays again at 7:15 tonight at Central Kitsap.
“I think it’s quite a good thing,” Ritchie said. “Not only does it show where we are technically, it shows where we are as a team.”
The Wolves will have another opportunity to reassess that when they host Stadium on April 14.
“I’m looking forward to the rematch,” Ritchie said. “I can’t wait to get them back to Port Orchard.”
At Stadium 3, South Kitsap 0
First half-1, Stadium, Jacob Beardemphl, 10th minute; 2, Stadium, Cesar Cervantes (Max Harvey), 15th.
Second half-3, Stadium, Harvey (penalty kick), 55th.