Sports

South Kitsap continues late-season surge | Girls soccer

All coaches and players talk about finishing strong.

But South Kitsap’s girls soccer is executing that plan.

The Wolves continued that with their fifth win in six matches with a 1-0 victory Tuesday night against Bellarmine Prep in Class 4A Narrows League play at Joe Knowles Stadium.

South has outscored its opponents 28-1 during that span.

“I think we just needed to relax and get confidence in front of the goal,” South coach Julie Cain said.

She also transitioned the Wolves (8-2-3 overall, 5-2-3 league) to 3-4-3 scheme in an effort to create more offensive opportunities. Senior defender Delaney Digiovanni and her counterparts, Shannon Beisley and Christa Lane, were up for the challenge.

“We knew we could handle it,” she said.

South’s second-half surge also has changed its playoff prospects. For much of the season, it appeared that the Wolves might be relegated to league’s fourth and final playoff spot. Instead, South has moved into a tie with the Lions (8-3-3, 5-2-3) for second place.

“To fight back and bring it at the end of the season is really exciting,” Digiovanni said.

The Wolves, who never defeated Bellarmine before 2008, now have beat the Lions at least once in each of the last five seasons. Cain is 5-2-1 against them in four years at South.

Digiovanni said her classmates needed little motivation to defeat their rivals in the final home match for seniors.

“We were ready to play,” she said. “They’re our rivals and we want to beat them. We love to beat them.”

Cain said she had no concerns about her team being distracted during its final home match.

“This is a great senior class,” she said. “We have great leadership.”

One of the Wolves’ seniors, midfielder Miranda Caballero, who recently committed to play at Middle Tennessee State University, broke the scoreless match in the 37th minute when she placed a header to junior forward Emily Wilkins, who scored.

“It was a beautiful play,” Cain said.

She also praised the play of her defenders.

“I think [goalkeeper Elissa] Randle had one save,” Cain said. “That’s great defense.”

At South Kitsap 1, Bellarmine Prep 0

First half-1, South Kitsap, Emily Wilkins (Miranda Caballero), 37th minute.

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