Wolves suffer season's first loss, await SPSL foe

Sometimes South Kitsap’s biggest challenge isn’t the opponent but artificial turf.

During the regular season the SK High girls soccer team plays on artificial turf maybe twice a year.

In the case of SK’s Narrows League championship game Saturday at Stadium Bowl, it was a lethal combination of the turf and undefeated Bellarmine (15-0) that contributed to SK’s first loss of the season.

Add the distraction of Homecoming festivities and defeat seemed inevitable before the start of the game.

Despite the loss, SK (12-1-3) is the No. 2 seed in the Narrows League and will face the SPSL No. 5 seed Saturday at 4 p.m. at Stadium Bowl.

SK will not know who its opponent is until tonight.

The winner of the game on Saturday advances to the state tournament.

Both teams played scoreless ball until Bellarmine’s Christy Crudo scored in the 21st minute for the half’s only goal.

The Lions all but put the game away three minutes into the second half when Roxy Davis scored.

Up to that point, the Wolves had only a trio of shots on goal and was forced to play defense for the majority of the game.

It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes they started to apply pressure on Bellarmine’s defense.

But almost all the shots sailed high.

“We need to really work on our one and two touch,” SK coach Gary Trautman said. “We need to keep the ball under better control and we need to practice finishing because we had some chances.”

Trautman said he noticed before the game that some of his players were talking about their homecoming dresses or what time their dinner reservations were.

But he said he understood the circumstances and thinks the team will be focused for its game Saturday.

“Now it’s gut-check time, and let’s see what we can do,” Trautman said. “We’ll get ready for whoever we have to play. I like our overall chances.”

Trautman said it was good for the Wolves to play against Bellarmine as a precursor to the playoffs.

“We haven’t seen two front runners like that,” Trautman said of Bellarmine’s Roxy Davis and Kaitlyn Neary. “We’ve seen one (on a lot of teams we’ve faced) but that bothered our defense a bit. Bellarmine is a good team but I don’t think the score was indicative of how the game went.”

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