Booters suffer setback against North Kitsap

It was what coach Eric Bergeson called a “heartfelt effort,” but in the end, it wasn’t quite enough.

North Kitsap snapped the South Kitsap boys’ soccer team’s six-game win streak on Thursday night, getting a couple of headers just seconds apart to take over sole possession of first place in the Narrows League Bridge Division with a 3-2 home victory.

The loss puts the Wolves at 5-1 in the league with 15 points, while the Vikings moved to 5-0-1 and lead by just a single point heading into spring break.

“Our guys played their hearts out,” Bergeson said, “until their last dying moment.”

After falling behind 1-0, South tied the game on a goal by Victor Kelmel. But North put in a pair of headers in the 67th and 69th minutes to take a 3-1 lead.

Travis Gutierrez got South within a goal with his seventh score of the year in the 74th minute, but that was the end of the scoring.

The loss came on the heels on the Wolves’ best effort of the year, an 8-0 pasting of Olympic on Tuesday night.

“I was really proud of the way we played,” Bergeson said following the Olympic game. “But you know me, there are things that we’ll go out and work on (Wednesday) in practice, but this was as positive of an outing against a quality team that’s not far behind us in the standings as we could hope for.”

In the Olympic game, Dan Nelson scored four times to up his season goal total to six, all of those coming in just two games.

“I don’t know what it is,” South captain Cade Mossman said of Nelson’s performance. “Maybe he’s still stuck in basketball mode, where you score a lot of points or something. But he’s been doing great.”

Nelson was making just his second start of the season after missing the earlier games due to South’s state basketball run. His six goal in two games had tied him with Gutierrez for the team lead until Thursday night.

“I feel like I’m more aggressive out there than in previous years,” Nelson said. “It feels good.”

While Nelson was pouring goal after goal Tuesday, his teammates were also getting in on the action.

Nelson ended the game with five points, while Mossman had three assists. South also got goals from Gutierrez, Kyle Schoales, Andrew Ringer and Jordan Thomas.

And while the offense was making perfect passes and scoring goal after goal, the Wolves’ defense was just as stellar.

Goalkeeper Tony Saddler recorded his fifth shutout of the season and had to face very few shots. But on the ones he did see, he left little doubt of where they would end up.

Despite the loss to North, the Wolves are still very much in the thick of the Bridge Division race, especially since they have yet to play a game with a full squad. Bergeson said he expects to be at fell strength by the start of the second half.

South will take the next week off for spring break and return to division play April 11 at Shelton to close out the first half of the season. Central Kitsap comes to Port Orchard on April 13 to begin the second half of play.

Notes: South found out this week that it will be without senior Tim Grey for the rest of the season. Grey, a transfer from King’s West High School in Silverdale, was denied eligibility by both the Narrows League and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and will not be allowed to play for South.

Grey, who lives in Port Orchard, transferred from King’s West to South last summer and had already signed a letter of intent to play for the University of San Diego.

South Kitsap 8, Olympic 0

Played March 28 at South Kitsap

First half — 1, SK, Dan Nelson (Travis Gutierrez), 8th minute; 2, SK, Gutierrez (Nelson), 10th; 3, SK, Kyle Schoales (J.R. Matthews), 19th; 4, SK, Nelson (Cade Mossman), 27th; 5, SK, Nelson (Mossman), 31st; 6, Andrew Ringer (Gutierrez), 35th.

Second half — 7, SK, Nelson (Mossman), 68th; 8, SK, Jordan Thomas (Alex May), 78th.

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