SK all business as post-season nears

They've had their fun, but it’s time to get down to business.

After a week that saw the South Kitsap girls soccer team lose its hold on second place in the Narrows League Bridge Division standings because of a 2-2 tie with North Kitsap Monday night then rebound with a 9-0 win over Shelton on Wednesday night as the program had some fun while saying goodbye to its senior class, the Wolves are primed to get the second season going.

“We’re just not ready for the season to be over,” senor co-captain Randee Robinson said Thursday as the team prepares for playoffs. “So we’re going to play as well as we’ve ever played and we’re going to stay in it.”

The season coming to an end is a very real possibility now as the Wolves get ready for today’s league tournament and a loser-out contest with either Wilson or Capital — most likely Capital — at 11:30 a.m. at Silverdale Stadium.

A win would put South a step closer to making a third straight trip to the Class 4A state tournament under coach Eric Bergeson. A loss would, of course, bring the year to an abrupt end. 

“The team wants to keep playing and winning,” Bergeson said. “The last thing they want is for our season to end. They’re not weary, they’re not frustrated. This is a nice group to have because they want to win as bad as I want to win.”

South finished league play in third place with a 10-1-3 mark. Gig Harbor took the Bridge Division title at 11-0-3, while Central Kitsap placed second at 11-3-0. Gig Harbor and Central will also play today but those games are just for seeding in next week’s West Central District tournament.

A South win would seed the team fifth in the WCD.

Regardless of who the Wolves face today, the team brought the regular season to a enjoyable close Wednesday and said thanks to a group of nine seniors who helped the team to a 10-2-4 overall mark.

Those playing their final game at home on Wednesday included Alicia Cleaver, Lauren Kruzner, Kristine Siler, Sami Stanton, Joyce Blankenship, Nicole Bussman, Stephanie Milne, Robinson and Maria Smith.

That group celebrated t-shirt night in different ways, most playing positions they’ve not played much this season, some getting the chance to score for the first time all year while others, like Bussman, added to an already outstanding year by scoring four times.

Three of those goals came in the game’s first 10 minutes.

“(Wednesday) night, it was fun,” Bergeson said. “Everything was positive about the night. I was proud of the way the girls played.”

But the business at hand is getting back to basics and getting ready for a tough road ahead.

“When you’re in third, then you’re usually looking for a number of things to improve upon, things you are doing wrong because you’re there for a reason,” Bergeson said. “As I try to sort through mentally what do we need to work on, what do we need to do, why we’re in this position, which is a natural frustration of being in third place, I look at our record and we have one loss.

“And it’s hard to fault the team or anyone or what we’re doing because that’s a great league season,” Bergeson said. “It’s rock solid.”

And Bergeson isn’t kidding. Here is a team that lost once in 14 league games, posted nine shutouts and never allowed more than two goals in a league game.

So expect more of that.

“Team's made the most of their opportunities against us,” Bergeson said. “You play the hand you’re dealt, We know we had control over our own situation so we’re going to have a tough district game.”

But Bergeson said his team is in no position to even look that far a head with the season on the line today. That’s something that is not lost on the team, either.

“If anything, this just motivates us to play harder,” said Milne, the team's other captain. "We worked way too hard to just quit because we didn’t get the seeding we wanted.”



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