Boys soccer: First-year varsity player boosts Wolves to win

A first-year varsity player led South Kitsap’s boys soccer program in goals last season.

Joey Starr hopes to make that a trend.

A sophomore forward, Starr scored goals in the 44th and 46th minutes to help the Wolves to their first Class 4A Narrows League victory, 5-0, Tuesday night against Olympia.

They were the first two goals of his career. Last year, senior Austin Arper scored a Kitsap County-best 19 goals in his first season on varsity for South.

Coach James Ritchie does not expect any of his players to reach that amount this season, but said Starr can help alleviate the scoring void left from Arper’s graduation.

“He’s the closest thing we’ve got to an Austin Arper-type player,” Ritchie said.

Storr’s goals extended the Wolves’ lead to 4-0.

“The defender on the far side was slowing down, so I just pushed passed him and sunk in the goals,” Storr said.

South (3-1-1 overall, 1-1-1 league) only had five goals entering the contest and lost 3-0 in its 4A Narrows opener March 16 at Stadium. Storr said the team switched its formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 and he believes that was significant against the Bears (0-4-0, 0-3-0).

“The two forwards up top work more with each other,” he said.

Ritchie agreed.

“We moved it very well,” he said. “I thought they were very well organized all the way from the backs to the forwards.”

That showed as the Wolves had four different players score goals. The first came in the 13th when forward Dallas Brewster scored.

Junior Bryce Klatt, one of several new defenders this season, hit a shot from at least 20 yards out on the left side of the field that found the opposite end of the net in the 29th.

“He’s got the power,” Ritchie said. “He can strike the ball like a rocket.”

Junior captain Diego de la Cruz scored South’s final goal in the 71st. Ritchie characterized it as a typically strong game for the midfielder.

“He’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen,” he said. “He’s a genius.”

Goalkeepers Quintin Harris and freshman Kyle Metzger combined for the shutout. Neither was busy as the Wolves dominated possession of the ball for most of the game.

“We really penetrated and were aggressive,” Ritchie said. “We made a point of going toward the goal.”

At South Kitsap 5, Olympia 0
First half-1, South Kitsap, Dallas Brewster, 10th minute; 2, South Kitsap, Bryce Klatt, 29th.
Second half-3, South Kitsap, Joey Starr, 44th; 4, South Kitsap, Starr, 46th; 5, South Kitsap, Diego de la Cruz, 71st.

South Kitsap 1, at Bremerton 0
First half-None.
Second half-1, South Kitsap, Diego de la Cruz, 71st minute.

At Central Kitsap 2, South Kitsap 2
First half-1, Central Kitsap, Lucas Thoresen (Mitchell Flaherty), seventh minute; 2, South Kitsap, Diego de la Cruz (penalty kick), eighth; 3, South Kitsap (own goal), 35th.
Second half-4, Central Kitsap, Cameron Watson, 77th.

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