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Boys soccer: Missed opportunities do not haunt Wolves
South Kitsap has few problems with positioning.
But putting the ball into the net is a different challenge.
The Wolves did that twice on goals by Justin Peterson and Bryton Owen to defeat Shelton, 2-0, on Tuesday in Class 4A Narrows League play at Joe Knowles Stadium.
It was not enough to quell coach Julie Cain’s concerns about her offense, though.
“We need to be confident in front of the goal,” she said. “We’ll do it.”
Cain counted four balls that bounced off the crossbar in addition to a missed penalty kick for South (3-2-1 overall, 3-2-0 league).
“We could’ve put the game away early,” she said. “We’re working on scoring.”
That does not mean Cain was dissatisfied with the play of her team. With the exception of scoring goals, she felt the Wolves played well against the Highclimbers (0-6-0, 0-5-0). Cain said her team possessed and moved the ball well throughout the match.
It culminated in the 13th minute when senior midfielder Justin Peterson scored on a pass from junior forward Joey Starr. South’s final goal came in the 68th when junior forward Bryton Owen scored on a feed from defender CJ Darmer.
The two goals matched a season-best for the Wolves, who lost 3-0 on Friday at Bellarmine Prep.
“I thought we dominated for 40 minutes,” Cain said. “It showed me what we can do.”
That usually does not describe a setback, but the match was scoreless at halftime. Kurtis Pederson then added a pair of goals and Michael Rector, who signed to play football at Stanford, had another.
“We let down a bit,” said Cain, referring to the Lions’ first goal. “I think we don’t expect to win those games yet.”
She attributes some of that to a lack of experience — South features just four seniors — but Cain sees signs of improvement.
“I think they’re starting to believe,” she said.
Against Shelton, Cain praised the aggressive play of senior midfielder Mike Nation and juniors Shawn Lange and Keiran Prince. She felt that style helped the Wolves maintain consistent possession against the Highclimbers.
Cain said it was a positive development after South lost its league opener, 5-0, on March 14 at Central Kitsap.
“I think we’ve improved a lot as a team the last few weeks,” she said.
The match against the Cougars initially was scheduled to be played at Joe Knowles before consistent downpour throughout that week resulted in it being postponed and moved to Silverdale Stadium. Those conditions also resulted in South postponing its March 14 match versus Stadium and moving its March 21 home contest against Mount Tahoma to the Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma.
That means the Wolves will play six of their final eight contests at home when they return for spring break April 10 at Stadium. South also had a contest scheduled for Thursday at Gig Harbor.
“It’s going to be great for us to have some home games,” Cain said.
The match against the Highclimbers marked just the second time South has played at home this year. The only other time was March 10 in a 1-1 tie against Kingston.
At South Kitsap 2, Shelton 0
First half—1, South Kitsap, Justin Peterson (Joey Starr), 13th minute.
Second half—2, South Kitsap, Bryton Owen (CJ Darmer), 68th.