Sports

Girls soccer: Wolves top rival Bellarmine Prep

TACOMA — Once the countdown ended, South Kitsap players rushed from the sidelines to embrace their teammates.

Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Bellarmine Prep was not the Wolves’ first against the Lions. It marked the second time in the last three seasons that South has defeated its Class 4A Narrows rival on the road.

The significance is more historical. The Wolves defeated the Lions 1-0 on Sept. 30, 2008, which is believed to be their first win in the series. That means this only was the fifth time South has defeated Bellarmine. It also marks the fourth consecutive year the Wolves have at least split the season series between the schools.

“I think it made us believe that we can win against anybody,” said junior Becca Schoales, referring to the 2009 win at Bellarmine. “We’re a force to be reckoned with.”

The right-footed Schoales used her opposite leg to score in the 29th minute on a pass from freshman forward Rachel Prince. She pushed the ball past diving goalkeeper Autumn Golden into the right corner of the net.

“Rachel made a really good unselfish play and just passed it back to me,” Schoales said. “I just one-touched it in.

“Sometimes I’m just more confident with my left. I don’t think about it — I just try and put it in.”

The Lions (6-1-0 overall, 4-1-0 league) had plenty of opportunities to respond, but could not against senior goalkeeper Bri Smallige. She deflected consecutive shots in the 30th and 32nd off her fingertips. But she said her best save came in the second half when she had to make a diving save off a deflection.

“Bri definitely took goals away from them,” said South coach Julie Cain, adding that Smallige is receiving interest to play at Seattle University, Seattle Pacific and the University of Washington. “She was just brilliant.”

Smallige said she had plenty of motivation to perform well.

“It’s our last game for our seniors here,” she said.

South (5-0-1, 4-0-1), which moved into first place in 4A Narrows with the win, appeared in control when junior midfielder Rose Posadas scored in the 57th.

But it never is that easy at Bellarmine, which has won the last four league championships. The Lions avoided the shutout when senior midfielder Kelly Beck scored on a penalty kick in the 76th and continued to apply pressure on Smallige in the final minutes.

“I don’t know what the shot total was, but I think they outshot us by quite a bit,” Cain said. “Bri had a tremendous game in goal.”

She also said the performance of the defenders, particularly juniors Delaney Digiovanni and Christa Lane, deserve credit.

“I was really proud of our backline,” Cain said. “I thought they had great composure.”

It does not get much easier as South plays Tuesday at Gig Harbor. Cain said that match is an example why she is not concerned about her team becoming complacent after beating Bellarmine.

“We lost 3-0 last year there,” she said. “We’ve got a battle in front of us. We definitely can’t look past anyone.”

South Kitsap 2, at Bellarmine Prep 1

First half—1, South Kitsap, Becca Schoales (Rachel Prince, Amy Bakalarski), 29th minute.

Second half—2, South Kitsap, Rose Posadas (Brita Oleson), 57th; 3, Bellarmine Prep, Kelly Beck (penalty kick), 76th.

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