SK quartet earn slots on All-Kitsap first team

Long before they were ever introduced to “Bergie Time,” Lauren Kruzner, Stephanie Milne and Randee Robinson were the future of the South Kitsap soccer program.

All three played varsity ball as freshmen and, as sophomores, brought first-year coach Eric Bergeson up to speed. They also played in the Class 4A state tournament together a remarkable four stright years.

And now the seniors leave South Kitsap together once again as all three were named to the first team of the 2004 All-Kitsap County girls soccer team, released this week by the Kitsap News Group.

The county’s volleyball team was released last week with the all-football team coming next week.

South’s Kruzner, Robinson and Milne joined fellow senior Nicole Bussman on the first team, while Alicia Cleaver, Kristine Siler, Santerra Holler and Kelsey Penn received honorable mentions.

“Those three were varsity members before I was a varsity member,” third-year coach Eric Bergeson said. “Before I was a part of this team, they had already begun building and sacrificing. They were the ones that welcomed the change and right away started building a stronger program.”

That core group led the Wolves to a 13-3-4 season in 2004, including a 10-1-3 mark in Narrows League Bridge Division play and yet another berth in the state tourney.

Their final season together came to an end last week in the tournament’s first round with a 1-0 loss to Redmond.

Here then, taking a cue from Bergeson and building from the back to the front, is the 2004 Kitsap News Group’s All-Kitsap County girls soccer team:

First Team

• Emily Zygmontowicz, Central Kitsap, goal keeper — The heart and soul of the best soccer team in CK’s history, Zygmontowicz recorded nine shutouts and is one of the most determined, vocal and athletic competitors on the field. More like a linebacker than a goalie, she will go through anyone to get to the ball.

• Lauren Kruzner, South Kitsap, defender - She may not be the biggest or the fastest or the strongest of the Wolves defenders but she was the most tenaious. And the attitude she brought to playing defense carried over to her teammates and made South that much tougher.

All of that coming from a former mid-fielder that always scored her share of goals but did what was best for the team and became on of its best defenders.

“She’s tough and she’s mean on the field and she’s the last person you’d want to play 80 minutes against,” Bergeson said. “Off the field, just a very enjoyable young lady. I really like her and I like that she is a warrior.”

• Christina Aga, Olympic, defender - Aga played hard for Olympic all season, and helped anchor a defense that would have allowed many more goals in her absence. She was one of Oly’s classiest players, displaying leadership and hard work with every effort.

• Stephanie Milne, South Kitsap, defender - Milne was not only a co-captain, she sacrificed her own wants for the team and became the heart and soul of a defense that had 11 shutouts in league play. A stopper by trade, she played any position Bergeson asked of her and did it well. A scrappy defender, Milne basically took over the defense this year, making all of those around her better.

“She was one of the most influentional captains as far as communicating what the team needs and isn’t getting,“ Bergeson said. “She was a coach on the field and every coach will tell you that’s key to a successful season.“

• Kim Skelly, North Kitsap, midfielder — Nursing a knee injury, Skelly played

defense for the first half of the year and still managed to be third in

points on the team this year (19) when she moved into the forward slot.

Skelly’s speed combined with patience and ball control made her one of the

Narrows’ League’s premier scoring threats.

• Kaitlin Poppe, Central Kitsap, midfielder - She may not get the stats, but she’ll dance defenders around with her incredible footwork, find the open player with crisp passing, display superb patience in finding opportunities and willpower through anyone.

• Alissa Russell, Central Kitsap, midfielder - The flashy Russell teamed up with Poppe for one of the league’s most potent middles, adding 18 goals and eight assists. Russell has a quick scoring strike, and an ability to get open and make things happen. Another of CK’s fiery competitors, Russell was a key contributor in CK’s playoff run, leading the team in goals and points.

• Megan Hyte, North Kitsap, forward — Hyte became a nightmare for goalies and

defenders alike from the season’s start with her ball-handling and scoring

ability. She finished with 16 goals and 29 points, both team-highs.

• Bethany Daniel, Central Kitsap, forward - Daniel, along with Russell, exceeded expectations with her incredible play as a junior, netting 11 goals while chipping in with six assists. She was able to find great looks in front of the net and has an eye for finding the hole. She and Russell will return a potent scoring combo for CK next season.

 • Randee Robinson, South Kitsap, forward - The Wolves’ other captain, her presence on the field was undeniable. Whether it was her physical play or vocal leadership, Robinson was always in on the action. She tallied 13 goals and seven assists in league games, most of those coming during the season-ending playoff push, and finished out the year playing on a bad knee.

“Not many people would have done that,” Bergeson said of his University of Nevada Reno-bound star. “She had every option not to, being that hurt, and still chose to play 70-plus minutes. That shows what kind of heart she has.”

• Nicole Bussman, South Kitsap, forward - Blink and she’s gone. There aren’t many players around who could keep up with the speedy little ball of energy. And even fewer who possess her work ethic or goal-scoring ability. She led the Wolves in scoring for the second straight season, netting 23 goals and seven assists in league play.

“She’s a very determined young lady,“ Bergeson said of his Southeast Missouri State-bound superstar. “When she kicks it into high gear, which she usually does, she can make a defender’s life and a goalie’s life miserable.“

• Coach of the year: Teri Ishihara, North Kitsap — Ishihara, whose North

Kitsap team in 1998 went to the final four in Washington, knew she had a

well-balanced squad this year. But it was how she went about organizing her

team that put them on the cusp of advancing past the Narrows tournament.

“I build a team around the strengths of the players,” she said, “Not around

a system but what our strengths are.”

Ishihara said she coaches teams to play “good posession ball” to get the “... maximum out of my players in high school and play at their highest level

so that they can be successful in their club teams or at college.”

Honorable mentions


• Alicia Cleaver, South Kitsap - Her numbers can’t be aruged with - 11 shutouts in 16 league games. The senior allowed two or more goals just four times in 20 games and had her crowning acheivement in the West Central District playoff game where she stonewalled Federal Way in an eventual shootout win. The backbone of the league’s best defense.

• Liz Curry, Olympic – Curry was the best scoring option for Oly all year. She was able to play the sidelines well to find gaps in the defensive coverage. A strong competitor, and just a freshman, she will be leading the Trojans for some time.

• Kate Robinson, Central Kitsap, defender – The CK defender played outstanding down the stretch for the Cougs. She was able to keep the young defense a float and aided Zygmontowicz by challenging all oncoming attackers. As CK’s only senior defender, she sets the bar for the Cougars defensive returners.

• Kaylee Ross, King’s West, midfielder – Ross led King’s West to a second place finish in the SeaTac League and a berth at districts. Ross was the Warriors’ biggest scoring threat all season with eights goals and six assists.

• Lindsey O’Neil-Dewing, North Kitsap — After spending a year abroad in

Austrailia, O’Neil-Dewing came back to become one of the most formidable

mid-fielders in the league. Her “consistency of play” made her a valuable

asset for the Vikings, said coach Ishihara. She shared the honor as the

team’s leading player in assists with Hyte (7)

• Jacklyn Hill, Bremerton – A bright spot in a gloomy season for the Knights, Hill was consistently effective for Bremerton.

• Santerra Holler, South Kitsap - A junior defender who came on strong as the season progressed. Great in the air and with the ball, she has tons of potential and should turn into the team’s defensive leader next season.

• Caitlin Verhofstadt, Central Kitsap – Verhofstad was one of CK’s most aggressive offensive weapons, using her incredible speed to blow by defenders down the sides. Her speed and agility earned CK many a corner kick, and many a goal. CV showed great perseverance as well, rarely leaving a game no matter how much pain she was in.

• Shannon White, Olympic – Combined with Curry to form Oly’s potent scoring duo. She combines speed, grace and athleticism enabled her to get open and find her shot.

• Kelli Gillespie, North Kitsap — Gillespie was never one to be passive on

defense — something coach Ishihara believes will make the senior a college

prospect. “She has good (field) vision and not only does she defend well, she has ability to attack from the back,” Ishihara said.

• Kristine Siler, South Kitsap - A major part of the defense, Siler had a knack for stopping things before they developed. The senior was great at denying opponets the ball and played with intellegence.

• Morgan O’Friel, Central Kitsap – One of the smallest Cougars on the field, she doesn’t appear to be very intimidating on first glance. But on the field, she is one of the most physical girls in the league. Most players that cross O’Friel’s path the ball meet the ground fairly quickly. But perhaps her greatest strength is the ability to get inside her opponents’ heads.

• Jessica White, Olympic, midfielder – The senior midfielder may not have put up huge numbers, but she did her part in creating chances for the Trojans. Like Poppe, she was more of a field general than a scoring threat, doing what she could to help the team.

• Stephanie Skelly, North Kitsap — Described as the “total player” by Coach

Ishihara, Skelly — the younger sister to Kim — was second in team points

(23) and scoring (9) and played every single position on the field, except

for goalkeeper. She has already set Viking fitness records as only a ninth

grader. Her versitile skills will make her a formidable player in her next

three years for North.

• Kelsey Penn, South Kitsap - Young and innocent-looking, the sophomore was as tough as they come once the game started. A fearless midfielder, Penn played with a desire and determination that will serve the team well in the future.

• Brandi Hamre, Central Kitsap – The CK freshman proves that CK will pack a scoring punch for a long time coming. Second on the team in scoring with 38 points, Hamre will be a CK centerpiece to build around.

• Jessica Squires, Klahowya, forward – Led the Eagles to districts with a 7-7-2 overall record. She provided Klahowya with a scoring punch throughout the season. Will return next year to lead team with many returners.

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