Wolves salvage 1-1 tie with Tides

South Kitsap soccer coach Eric Bergeson made no bones about it – it was the act of a desperate man.

Trailing the visiting Gig Harbor Tides 1-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Bergeson lifted a defender for an extra forward, hoping to get an offensive push toward the Tide goal. And the plan worked to perfection as forward Cassie Brown found an opening and scored with seven minutes left to help South earn a 1-1 tie Thursday night.

In fact, the Wolves pulled out a pair of ties last week, including a scoreless one Tuesday at Central Kitsap, to remain unbeaten on the year at 2-0-2 overall and 0-0-2 in Narrows League Bridge Division play.

“I thought the girls took it to different tempo,” Bergeson said after the switch. “The speed we should have been playing at, we found it at the end. Hopefully, we’ll continue to keep that same intensity without being behind on the scoreboard.”

Ashley Polen was the extra forward inserted into the game, and Bergeson said she made an immediate impact by pulling one of the Tides’ marking backs straight to her, leaving the right side of the field open for Brown, who took the ball in from that side and scored unassisted.

But the game may have been won in the middle of the field, where the Wolves employed a center-mid by committee scheme that was made possible by the play of Kaitlin Myles, Erin Carpenter and Mikayla Shdo.

And the South defenders once again did their job, holding the Tides to just one goal, the first keeper C.J. Balstad has allowed all year.

“These girls battled through a lot tonight,” Bergeson said. “They battled through some difficult situations on the field. We’ve played four teams this year that have been known to appear in the state tournament and we’ve only allowed one goal.”

The ties keep the Wolves near the top of the league standings with two of the tougher teams out of the way for the time being. South is on the road twice next week with a Tuesday game at Port Angeles and at Bremerton on Thursday.

“We held our own against the two teams that finished ahead of us in the standings last year,” Bergeson said. “We showed that we’re ready to go. I don’t think anyone going into the year would have expected us to hold our own against CK and the Harbor bam-bam round out of the gate without having time to work on some things as a team.”

The South junior varsity posted a 0-1-1 record on the week, losing just its second game in the last four years on Tuesday, dropping a 2-1 decision at Central Kitsap.

Tori Fairweather scored her third goal of the season in the loss while Caitlin Daniels got the Wolves lone goal in a 1-1 tie with Gig Harbor.

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