Unsung Wolves stay perfect at 5-0

Just moments before Thursday night’s Narrows League Bridge Division soccer game with Bremerton, South Kitsap coach Eric Bergeson made something very clear to his young team.

The Wolves, who had started the season short-handed, were missing five additional starters and had pulled up some members of the junior varsity to fill in.

Some, in fact, were wearing the jerseys of the missing starters.

“Our pregame talk was about opportunity,” Bergeson said. “They needed to show that they deserved a number of their own.”

Bergeson’s message got through, as the Wolves wasted little time posting a 5-0 win over Bremerton. That victory combined with the team’s 1-0 win at Port Angeles Tuesday has the Wolves at 5-0 overall and 4-0 in league play.

“I was very proud of the way those guys stepped up,” Bergeson said, “and the way this whole team has covered each other through the whole early stages of the season.”

With big matches upcoming against Olympic at home on Tuesday and at North Kitsap on Thursday, a win with so many of its starters out was big.

“Other people that didn’t think they would have to step, stepped up,” said Cade  Mossman, the Wolves’ captain. “We’ve always had good skills, it was just a matter of chemistry and stuff.”

Whatever combination South put out on the field on Thursday worked, and instead of worrying about playing without the likes of Travis Gutierrez, the team’s leading scorer, or Kyle Schoales, along with a few others off playing in tournaments for their club teams, other guys jumped right into the fray and helped decide the outcome.

One in particular was senior Dan Nelson. Nelson, who just came back to the team after being a part of South’s state basketball run, scored a pair of goals in his first game, including what turned out to be the game winner just two minutes into the game.

“Yeah, it feels good to be back out here,” Nelson said. “We had a nice run in basketball and everything but it feels nice to be back out on the soccer field. It’s my best sport, I think.”

Mossman was also everywhere in the mix, scoring a goal while adding a pair of assists, while Andrew Ringer scored twice and had an assist.

It was, simply, a total team effort that Mossman was proud of.

“I think (some of the younger guys) were a little nervous at first but once they got into the rhythm they were fine,” Mossman said.

The entire team seemed to light up whenever sophomore Bryan Heath entered the game while fellow sophomores Quincy Lyman and Ryan Muyskens also came up big.

“We’re undefeated because we’re united,” Bergeson said. “When someone is gone or someone is out, we take a lot of pride in being there for them when they are gone rather than fault them for not being there. We’re proud of the guys that are gone and we’re proud of the guys that were here and held down the fort.”

And while the offense was busy putting up five goals, Tony Saddler quietly recorded his fourth shutout in five games. He’s allowed a single goal this season.

South has now scored 21 goals in just five games, six more than they had at the same point last year.

Mossman and Nelson both said it was the Wolves’ passing game that has led to so many goals so early.

“Our movement through the defense is a lot better now,” Mossman said. “We’re still playing a little bit of kick-and-run … but possession-wise, we’re doing a lot better.”  

Although the Wolves’ first full week of games seemed to be the toughest, they started league play with Central Kitsap and Gig Harbor, it could be the coming week that makes for breaks the season.

Olympic has shown it can play with the big boys already this season while North Kitsap looks to be the toughest team in the division along with South.

“I liked who was here and I like what I see before me,” Bergeson said of his team. “Because I knew what they were going to go out and do. And they did.”

South Kitsap 5, Bremerton 0

Played March 23 at South Kitsap

First half – 1. Dan Nelson (Cade Mossman) second minute.

Second half - 2. Cade Mossman (penalty kick), 43rd minute; Andrew Ringer (Mossman) 57th minute; 4. Dan Nelson (Ringer) 63rd minute; 5. Ringer (Bryan Heath) 75th minute.

South Kitsap 1, Port Angeles 0

Played March 21 at Port Angeles

First half — none.

Second half — Cade Mossman (Quincy Lyman) 46th minute.

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