SK loses grip on first place

Throughout last week’s practices, South Kitsap girls soccer coach Eric Bergeson started to see a bad trend developing. Wandering minds and attitudes, players showing up late for practice and school classes.

He called it a lack of concern for the all the little things and that caught up to Wolves Thursday afternoon in Silverdale as Central Kitsap recorded a 2-1 win.

“(Central) wanted it, obviously to anyone in the stadium, more,” Bergeson said. “That game was indicative of the practices we had this week.”

The Wolves’ first Narrows League Bridge Division loss, coupled with Gig Harbor’s 6-2 win over Olympic, dropped them out of first place.

South, now 6-2-2 overall and 6-1-1 in league, trails Gig Harbor by a single points in the standings, 20-19. Central, now 7-3-0, 6-2-0, sits alone in third with 18 points.

“I have to hand everything to the girls,” Central coach Vicki Webb said. “What’s most gratifying to me is that everybody played hard. They put everything they had into the game and we can’t ask for anymore than that.”

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for the Wolves.

Central consistently beat the Wolves to every ball, made better, smarter passes and was by far the better team on Silverdale Stadium’s fake grass, at least on this day.

“(South) plays hard, but we know what we can do and what we’re capable of,“ Webb said. “Last time we played them (a 1-0 loss on Sept. 14), we felt like we outplayed them. We played the whole game with that intensity today just like we did the last time, but it was our turn to get a goal — or two.”

Central controlled the game for the first 70 minutes, keeping the ball primarily in the Wolves’ end, but could get one through until Alissa Russell scored on a corner kick in the game’s 72nd minute. Bethany Daniel scored what turned out to be the game winner six minutes later.

South’s Erin Carpenter scored just after Daniel’s goal.

“It’s been a goal for us all along to beat South,” Webb said. “They practiced hard and their goal was to play better. The game with Gig Harbor (a 4-0 loss Sept. 28) was a real eye opener. They kind of felt like they didn’t play as well as they could and they wanted to show everyone that they could play better than that.”

Central displayed that desire from the game’s opening whistle, much to Bergeson’s chagrin.

“They outplayed us in every single position,“ Bergeson said. “I can’t think of more than two times during the game we linked a series of passes together.

“Their defenders passed it to each other, ours booted the ball up the field,” Bergeson said. “Their goalkeeper caught the ball in the air, ours swung and missed. Their midfielders came to the ball, passed it and kept the ball moving, ours didn’t. Their forwards got open, ours did not. Their forwards passed the ball to others on their team, ours did not.”

The loss stopped a seven-game unbeaten streak for South and halted goal keeper Alicia Cleaver’s five-game shutout streak. The senior has now allowed just seven goals in 10 games, four of those in league play.

“Obviously I didn’t do my job getting us ready for this game,” Bergeson said, “because we didn’t come to play. As a coach, I’ll take full responsibility.

“(Central) earned it, the whole way,” Bergeson said. “They out-hustled us, out-smarted us and made us pay for every single mistake we made.”

Bergeson said Lauren Kruzner’s defensive play was solid as always and Kelsey Penn played well offensively. He also said Randee Robinson’s leadership showed through and he kept waiting for the rest of the team to pick up their intensity level to match hers. It never happened.

Instead, the team seemed set on making all the little mistakes Bergeson had feared.

“I told them those equal losses,” Bergeson said. “Wins don’t just come to you — you have to earn them by doing all things positive.”

The Wolves get a shot at moving back into first place Tuesday with a match at Gig Harbor. The team travels to Port Angeles Thursday.

Tuesday at Shelton, Nicole Bussman celebrated her birthday by scoring a hat trick in the Wolves’ 7-0 win over the Highclimbers.

Those three goals gave the senior 12 on the year while goalie Alicia Cleaver notched her sixth shutout of the season and fifth in a row.

The Wolves wasted little time as Bussman scored in the game’s eighth minute while Sami Stanton and Mikayla Shdo each added a goal for 3-0 halftime lead. Bussman added her second score three minutes into the second half. That was followed by goals from Kelsey Penn, Bussman with her third and Joyce Blankenship.

South Kitsap JV still unbeaten: The Wolves’ junior varsity team ran is season record to 7-0-3 with a pair of wins past week.

The Wolves used a balanced scoring attack to down Central Kitsap 3-1 Thursday. Bre Torresan, Jamie Little and Maria Jose all scored goals while Kristin Hunter and Ashley Polen dished out assists.

Christine Miller got the win in goal for South while the Wolves had strong mid-field play from Kasey Wernet and Polen.

The Wolves had gotten the week started with a 9-0 win over Shelton.

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