Wolves settle for a pair of draws

After one draw felt like a loss, the South Kitsap High School boys soccer team turned around 48 hours later and settled for another, only this one felt like a victory.

On Tuesday, the Wolves watched a freak deflection goal turn a 1-0 lead into a 1-1 tie in a home game against Central Kitsap.

Two days later, SK trailed 2-0 at Port Angeles, but Brendan Sweglar’s two second-half goals — including one in the last minute of regulation — enabled the Wolves to escape town with a draw.

Brandon Pratt scored for SK in the third minute, but 20 minutes later CK’s Brandon Screen misdirected a kick that deflected off an SK defender, catching goalkeeper Jared Stevenson leaning one direction while the ball went the other direction.

No goals were scored in the second half, leaving both teams settling for a point in the Narrows League Bridge Division standings.

SK came away with two points over the week to the relative satisfaction of Wolves’ coach Eric Bergeson.

“Against CK I thought we had it,” Bergeson said. “I was disappointed with our intensity in the first half of that game. But the guys stepped up in the second half and played really well. We had lots of scoring opportunities but we just couldn’t score.”

While the tie to CK was slightly disappointing, Bergeson said the draw at Port Angeles felt like a win.

“Some feel like a loss and some feel like a win,” he said. “This one felt like a win.”

After watching his team fall flat in the first half Bergeson said he made some halftime adjustments with a few positions, and it paid off.

One of the key switches was moving sweeper Robbie Robinson up to the more active spot as stopper.

Konnar-Kaio Maddox was moved to left marking back, and junior Jimmy Hoettel filled in at sweeper.

“Anytime you can salvage a tie on the road at PA is good,” Bergeson said. “They have some very good players. They’re young, so they’ll be tough for the next couple years.”

The tie didn’t inch SK any closer to second place, but it did solidify its hold on third place with four games to go.

“We’ll keep fighting (for second),” he said. “Anything can happen, but even if we beat Gig Harbor and Shelton I don’t know any other teams that could beat them.”

Bergeson said he hopes his players came away with a burning desire to excel for an entire game after escaping PA with a draw.

“In high school sports, the most important thing you can teach kids is to never quit,” Bergeson said. “You have to give everything you’ve got and keep on the fight. I’m proud my boys kept fighting (at PA).”

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