Sports

"Stadium's savvy, speed too much for outmatched Wolves"

"Eric Bergeson likes to focus on the positive rather than the negative.After his South Kitsap High School boys soccer team fell to 2-5 on the season after a 2-0 loss against Stadium Thursday evening at SK, Bergeson told his players he was proud of their never-say-die attitude.In blowout losses to Wilson and Gig Harbor, Bergeson had seen letdowns in his players.But he considered the loss to Stadium a step in the right direction.The team even saw a chance at victory in the game when the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.A blistery windchill blowing to the north gave the Wolves the advantage in the first half but it couldn't capitalize with the wind.The Tigers had their turn and capitalized fast, scoring four minutes and 11 minutes into the second half.Stadium, loaded with seniors and all-conference players, dominated on possession and continuously put pressure on the SK defense.While Stadium had nearly 20 shots on goal, SK defenders were able to keep Stadium from finishing.It's a defense Bergeson isn't used to implementing.After the 5-0 loss to Gig Harbor, Bergeson said he realized his team just doesn't have the speed to matchup man to man with the Narrows League's better teams.So he switched the team to a zone, and so far, Bergeson said he's liking the results better.I think the defense has been solid the last few games, Bergeson said. I think they've definitely improved and have adapted to a new system that simplifies the way they think. It enables them to pick up whoever is in the area.Bergeson said he never likes to lose, but he said the 2-1 loss to Capital 48 hours prior to the Stadium game was heartbreaking.SK entered the second half of that game with a 1-0 lead, only to watch that lead quickly turn into a 2-1 deficit.Capital struck quickly in the second half to tie the score, and with less than two minutes remaining Capital chipped in a goal from 20 yards for the game winner.I thought we had the edge mentally, Bergeson said. We controlled most of the action with those guys.In all of SK's losses, most of the goals scored against SK have come in the first five minutes of the second half.Bergeson attributes that to a lack of intensity and youthful inexperience.We haven't had anyone at any position that have asserted themselves on the field, Bergeson said. But you have to expect that when you're thin on seniors.But he said there are players who are starting to show a bright future.Freshman sweeper Robbie Robinson has earned more playing time as the season has progressed and junior Evan Winslow has moved from a backup offensive player to starting defender.Robbie has been a real bright spot for us, Bergeson said. I'm real proud of the way he's been playing. Winslow had a good game (against Stadium). I think he's adapted to playing defense.The Wolves have also had to play without starter Chris Kendall, who suffered a deep bruise on his foot while playing in a soccer tournament in California.He missed both games last week and will miss the game Tuesday against Peninsula.We feel the absence of Chris Kendall and his strength and size, Bergeson said. We're not a big strong team so it's hard for us to possess the ball.But Bergeson said the team is achieving one goal that can be accomplished no matter the outcome of the game.We're better today than we were yesterday, Bergeson said. We just need to keep working on getting better the next day. "

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