Wolves survive mugging to advance

The South Kitsap boys soccer team may have struggled at times this year to finish games in the win column, but they dominated last Monday in one area they’ve never had problems with — class.

The Wolves outplayed Stadium, then survived a physical onslaught riddled with cheap shots and red cards, to beat the Tigers 3-2 and advance to the Class 4A West Central District tournament, which starts today.

South coach Eric Bergeson said in the end he was pleased his team managed to keep its composure, despite Stadium playing so rough in the final 10 minutes that three players were ejected with red cards.

The victory was huge for South Kitsap, which made it to the state championship game last year, but because of ties and inconsistent play this season was just one game away from elimination.

South Kitsap will play either Federal Way or Decatur today at 3 p.m. at Lake Spanaway, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.

The Wolves trailed early in the first half when Stadium’s Beau Macaluso took a pass from Brendan Hanselmann-Cosar to score 14 minutes in and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

Bryan Everson, who helped kick South to a win Saturday over North Kitsap and was named co-team captain for Monday’s game, took a cheap shot from Stadium’s goalkeeper and was injured 30 minutes into the contest.

Team captain Kyle Schoales responded with a penalty kick that evened the score at 1-1.

A few minutes later, Schoales found a wide open Brent Recigliano, who put the Wolves out in front 2-1.

Stadium already was putting South Kitsap through its paces in the first half, pulling down three yellow cards for violent play.

Little improved in the second half, and Bergeson told reporters he could see Stadium self-destructing.

South’s Bryan Heath took a throw-in from Schoales about 20 minutes into the second half and scored to give the Wolves the 3-1 lead.

A few minutes later, two Stadium players were ejected and the Tigers were forced to play with only nine people.

That only seemed to increase Stadium’s frantic play.

Even so, the Tigers managed another goal by K.C. Phillips with less than a minute to play, but Stadium’s Andrew Nelson was ejected for striking a Wolves’ player with the ball and the game ended with South outmanning Stadium 11-to-8.

Stadium finished the season at 7-6-2; South improved to 7-3-5.

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