Sports

Deuces wild as Wolves settle for ties

The good news is the South Kitsap High School girls soccer team woke up Friday morning leading the Narrows League Bridge Division.

The bad news is the Wolves could have distanced themselves in the standings if they had won at least one of the two games against Olympic and Gig Harbor last week.

SK had to settle for a pair of 2-2 ties, but it remains in first place (4-0-2 NL) with 14 points — one point ahead of Gig Harbor (4-1-1).

Olympic (3-0-3) is two points back after earning a point against SK and another three points in a 6-1 against Bremerton Thursday.

North Kitsap, SK’s opponent on Tuesday, could have forged a two-way tie for second place, but it tied Central Kitsap to remain three points back.

Between the two ties, SK coach Eric Bergeson said his team played better against Gig Harbor Thursday.

In both games, SK clearly showed itself to be the agressor.

Down 2-1 at halftime, the Wolves pressed their offense and it clearly made a difference, outshotting Olympic 16-1 in the second half.

It was with nine minutes remaining in the game that SK’s Lauren Kruzner scored the equalizer.

Kruzner opened the game’s scoring in the 14th minute when she scored on a header off a 35-yard free kick from Randee Robinson.

SK helped Olympic’s cause with an own goal in the 18th minute to tie the score 1-1.

Lindsay Neste scored a one-timer with eight minutes to go in the first half to give Olympic a 2-1 lead, and it stayed that way until Kruzner’s late heroics.

“I thought we played well enough defensively to withstand the tie,” Olympic coach Steve Haggerty said. “South really came after us in the second half. Our defense stepped up and did a nice job.”

The shots on goal carried over in the home game against Gig Harbor Thursday.

SK again took the early 1-0 lead on a Kruner goal only to watch Gig Harbor’s Heidi Austin tie the game eight minutes later.

Stephanie Mott scored on a nice header goal to give SK a 2-1 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, SK continued to be the aggressor, but when an errant Gig Harbor shot hit the right post, Heidi Brown was there to clean it up to tie the score again 2-2 with 23 minutes remaining in the game.

SK’s offense started to pour it on in the last 15 minutes.

Robinson watched her bullet hit the crossbar with three minutes remaining, and Cassie Brown had her apparent goal deflected by a diving Gig Harbor goalkeeper with two minutes to play.

“We had lots of opportunities in the second half,” Bergeson said. “We did a better job of slowing it down and passing the ball and playing more classic soccer.”

With exception of one lapse in defense, the second half against Gig Harbor is what Bergeson would like to see if his team has any visions of a successful postseason.

“You think about your season but you also have to think about what your long-range goals are and if we want to go to the postseason,” he said. “We have to do more of that.”

Bergeson said he never dwells on mistakes after a game, but what he expects are adjustments from his players.

“As a coach you want to figure out why teams are scoring,” Bergeson said. “But I don’t blame anyone. They just need to go out and keep getting better from it.”

Bergeson said he would have loved earning four points over the week, but the two points were enough to maintain a lead in the standings.

“It doesn’t get any better, though,” he said. “We’ve got North (Kitsap) coming up and they’re a very physical team.”

SK hosts North Kitsap Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Retsil Field.

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