Sports

Wolves have plenty in reserve

For most of the regular season, because of injuries or questions of eligibility or illness, the South Kitsap boys’ soccer team was forced to play short-handed.

So why should the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs be any different?

With starters Tim Grey and Mike Jones knocked out of Tuesday’s first-round contest against Kamiak with injuries, and with senior studs Dan Nelson and Kenny Kemper hobbling as well, the Wolves resorted back to a makeshift lineup that produced a 1-0 victory and sends them back to the state quarterfinals for the third time in the last eight years.

South will played Eastlake late Friday night in Samammish for the right to advance to the final four. Eastlake beat Mountain View 1-0 Tuesday night.

Results of South’s game against Eastlake are available on the Independent’s Web site at www.portorchardindependent.com.

South was never at full strength as Nelson has been slowed by a pulled hamstring and Jones went down minutes into the game with a strained calf. And then things got worse.

Grey collided with a teammate and suffered a cut eye lid and forced him not only from the game but to the

hospital for treatment.

Then Kemper strained a thigh muscle and played sparingly the rest of the way.

But through it all, players like Victor Kelmel, Bryan Heath, Quincy Lyman, Nolan Kalkwarf and Andrew Ringer stepped into other roles and stepped up their play to help get the win.

“I felt like we had to do what we’ve done all season, just persevere,” Kelmel said.

Kelmel moved into Grey’s defensive position and gave the Wolves the physical presence it needed in his absence. Menwhile, Heath played his best game of the year at forward, giving South some much-needed speed on the outside.

Lyman, too, provided very valuable minutes in the midfield, while Kalkwarf and Ringer would hook up to get the game’s lone goal.

After a scoreless first half — the Wolves had two great looks but failed to convert — Kalkwarf got what would end up as the game winner 10 minutes into the second half.

With South executing a corner kick, Ringer flicked a pass to Kalkwarf in front of the net and the junior forward buried it.

After that, South tightened up its defense with goalie Tony Saddler getting his ninth shutout of the year.

“Once we got that lead, I wanted the clock to go much faster than it was,” said the senior, who battled a glaring sun the entire second half. “Those last 20 minutes seemed to last forever.”

In fact, South coach Eric Bergeson said he stole a defensive concept right out of South basketball coach John Callaghan’s playbook towards the end of the game by running a diamond-and-one on Kamiak’s top goal scorer, Rebel Hall.

“All I wanted to do was shut him down,” Saddler said. “My defense, they wanted to win this game a lot more than in the previous games. They always help me out a lot. They really support me and I’d never be able to get a shutout without them.”

After allowing just 11 goals in the first 15 games of the year, Saddler was touched for eight in the first two post-season games. This was his first shutout since beating Shelton 8-0 on May 3.

With the win, South moved to 16-2-0 on the year and a win this weekend would put it into the final four for the first time in school history.

South Kitsap 1, Kamiak 0

Second half - SK, Nolan Kalkwarf (Andrew Ringer), 50th minute

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