Wolves fall short of state soccer title

South Kitsap’s dream soccer season came a stunning close Saturday night as Snohomish rocked the Wolves 5-1 in the title game of the Class 4A soccer tournament.

For the Panthers, who finished the year at 20-1, it was the second soccer title in the last six years and was another step toward establishing the program as a state soccer power. Snohomish won its first title in 2000 and finished second in 2003 and third in 2004.

South Kitsap, which finished it's best ever season at 18-3, was making it's first-ever appearance in the title game.

But things didn’t go so well for the Wolves.

After playing the Panthers even for the first 20 minutes, the Wolves turned the ball over in front of its own net one too many times and paid the price as Brandon Crutchfield scored 20 minutes into the game.

“We stuck with them that first half, that goal was just a hustle play and we could have prevented it,” junior midfielder Travis Gutierrez said. “We stuck with them most of the game but we had a few slips and we got our heads down and we just kind of gave up.”

Once again, South played solid for the first 20 minutes of the second half but the Panthers would put the game out of reach by turning more South turnovers and mistakes into three goals in the span of four minutes. Colin Lacy scored in the game’s 59th minute while Brandon Kelley scored back-to-back goals in the 61st and 62nd minutes.

The Panthers’ Brendan Rosgen made it 5-0 with seven minutes left in the game. Gutierrez got the Wolves on the board in the 75th minute by heading in a ball from Tim Grey.

“We just mentally weren’t there,” senior captain Cade Mossman said. “We didn’t come back from being down – we didn’t respond the way we should have. We just collapsed and gave them the game.”

South had played its best soccer of the season just a night before in beating Lake Stevens 1-0 in a shootout to get to the title game. But against Snohomish, which was at one point during the season ranked No. 1 in the country in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, South didn’t have the same intensity.

“We gave them too much, we should have pressured them harder,” Gutierrez said. “(Snohomish) is definitely a beatable team. Any given day, if we give it our all, I think we could have beaten this team. That score doesn’t really show how good they are because I don’t think 5-1 is how good they are. We’re better than that.”

Snohomish 5, South Kitsap 1

1, Snohomish, Brandon Crutchfield (Brandon Kelley), 20th minute; 2. Snohomish, Colin Lacy (Josh Petosa) 59th; 3. Snohomish, Kelley (Matt Berry) 61st; 4. Kelley 62nd; 5. Snohomish, Brendan Rosgen 73rd; 6. South Kitsap, Travis Gutierrez (Tim Grey) 75th.

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