BOYS SOCCER | Wolves escape Yelm with win

South Kitsap
South Kitsap's Daniel Henry and his teammates closed out the regular season Tuesday night with a 1-0 victory at Yelm.
— image credit: Jeff Rhodes Photo

YELM — He just remained quiet afterward.

South Kitsap boys soccer coach Cory Vartanian allowed his players to do talking in the postgame huddle after Tuesday night’s 1-0 win in the Class 4A Narrows League regular-season finale at Yelm.

The victory secured third place for the Wolves (7-5-2 overall, 6-4-2 league) in 4A Narrows, but was a less-than-desirable result against the Tornados (3-13-0, 0-12-0).

Without a goal by Joey Starr in the 31st minute, South risked undoing a lot of positive movement it experienced since a 7-0 win April 23 against Olympia. That victory snapped a streak of five losses in six matches for the Wolves. South closed out its regular season by winning three of its final four matches. The other was a 2-2 tie Thursday at Gig Harbor.

Because the Tides had a 1-0-1 head-to-head record against the Wolves, South had to defeat Yelm to avoid falling to the fourth — and final — seed out of 4A Narrows entering the West Central/Southwest Bi-District Tournament. For that reason, Vartanian was disappointed that his team appeared to be looking ahead to districts.

“I think the boys know exactly what they did and where they are mentally,” he said. “This definitely was not a performance to write home about.”

Vartanian expected to play either Emerald Ridge or Puyallup at 10 a.m. Saturday at Art Crate Field in Spanaway. A victory in that match would advance the Wolves to the 4A state tournament for the first time since 2009 when they won the championship. Vartanian expects his players to be more focused on that match than they were against the Tornados.

“We’ll definitely move past it very quickly,” he said. “We’re going to stay positive and build on the things we did wrong tonight.”

South Kitsap 1, Yelm 0First half-1, South Kitsap, Joey Starr, 31st minute.

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