SK plays its best game in season-ending effort

The verdict was unanimous among players and coaches surveyed.

South Kitsap played the best its best 77 minutes of soccer this year. Unfortunately for the Wolves, they needed the other three minutes to advance to the state tournament.

Kristen Drobny beat Monique Morey in a one-on-one situation in the 50th minute and Kelsey Jenkins followed three minutes later with a goal past the lunging South goalkeeper as Kentwood claimed a 3-2 win in the Class 4A West Central District Tournament at Art Crate Field in Graham.

“We had some breakdowns on our marks and we missed some looks ... I would like to have those three minutes back,” South coach Scott Sodorff said. “I really would.”

That early stretch to begin the second half was the only complaint Sodorff had.

“I wish we could’ve been a little more aggressive maybe in the beginning of the second, but we played a great game against a great team,” he said. “They had some real talent and we stuck with them.”

The loss ends the season for the Wolves, who finished with a 11-5-1 record. Kentwood (13-1-3) advances to the state tournament with the win and plays Wednesday against Lake Stevens.

“It was a hard-fought game and it’s tough when your back’s against the wall like that,” Sodorff said. “It’s a must-win situation, but the girls played every second of it and I’m proud of them.”

The Wolves never led in the match, but didn’t seem out of it at any point, either. Abby Brauer gave Kentwood a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, but the Wolves tied the match seven minutes later when Tori Fairweather scored on an assist from Kylie Balstad.

“When we came into this, we were ready,” South senior Kaileigh Westermann said. “More than any other game we were ready to play and I think it showed in the first half. We played really hard and intense.”

That showed against a Kentwood team that gave Todd Beamer — considered the best team in the state by some — its first loss of the season Wednesday in the SPSL title match, the Wolves were relentless. Courtney Brown cut South’s deficit to 3-2 in the 75th minute and nearly tied the match two minutes later when she had a one-on-one situation, but her shot went a couple of feet right of the goal.

“I think I panicked at the last minute,” Brown said. “The adrenaline is so high, you just can’t wait.”

And another big win for the Wolves, who won a pair of loser-out matches in the Narrows League Tournament, wasn’t about to happen.

“It’s easy to get down in that situation, but they kept their heads up and still found opportunities,” Sodorff said. “We had the chance to tie it up and the ball didn’t bounce the way we would’ve liked it to.”

Brown, a sophomore, said she learned a lot this season despite the disappointing finish.

“I definitely know that teamwork is a big thing,” she said. “Without it, we wouldn’t have gone this far.”

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