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GIRLS SOCCER | South Kitsap follows familiar path to tie
It still is early in the season, but some consistent trends are developing for South Kitsap’s girls soccer team.
Comebacks and ties.
The Wolves did both again Tuesday night as they overcame an early deficit to tie Olympia, 2-all, in a Class 4A Narrows League match.
“That’s a story,” South coach Julie Cain said. “I think this is the fourth game we’ve come back in.”
The Wolves (2-1-3 overall, 0-0-2 league) also have comeback to either tie or defeat King’s, Crosspoint Academy and Eastlake this year. South fell behind again against the Bears (4-0-1, 1-0-1) when freshman forward Jenna Killman scored in the 27th minute and junior midfielder Brooklynn Hooper followed with a goal in the 35th.
The Wolves, who had several close misses in the first half, finally capitalized in the 36th. After junior midfielder Hailey Parker’s shot hit the top crossbar, sophomore forward Ari de la Cruz headed the ball into the net.
“Whenever players take shots you always want to follow up on them just in case something like that happens,” de la Cruz said.
Cain was impressed by de la Cruz’s quick reaction.
“Fundamental is a great word for Ari,” she said. “She rarely loses the ball and she rarely gives it away. She’s a very smart player.”
Cain also liked that her team once again was not discouraged by their early deficit.
“I love that we scored within a minute of their second goal,” she said. “I think it’s a great attitude. A lot of teams will get down after that.”
De la Cruz said the Wolves’ chemistry and confidence have helped them through some early season adversity.
“You can never give up because you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s really easy to come back, but you have to put a lot of hard work into it.”
South tied the match in the 59th when de la Cruz fed the ball to junior forward Rachael Prince, whose shot hit the left crossbar and bounced into the net.
Neither team scored the rest of the way as Cain inserted freshman Chandler Greenwood in the net for junior Elisa Randel after halftime.
“Chandler is a little stronger coming out on the ground,” said Cain, adding that Randel is better at stopping shots in the air. “They were getting through … so I made a call that I wanted to see Chandler in that role.”
Cain felt both Randel and Chandler benefited from a developing backline that was hit hard by graduations. In particular, she said junior Hayley Romo played well.
“She was just calm, swung the ball and possessed it really well for us,” Cain said.
The result was a tie for the second time in as many league matches for South. But given the circumstances, Cain said she was satisfied with the result.
“When you start down by two, a tie is fine,” she said. “We’re scoring goals and I don’t think a tie to Olympia is going to hurt us. I think Olympia is going to be a team to beat this season. I thought they looked really solid.”
The Wolves resume league play with matches Tuesday against Central Kitsap and Oct. 3 versus Bellarmine Prep at Joe Knowles Stadium. South defeated both of those teams last year at home.
“We get up for Bellarmine because it’s a rivalry and because historically they have dominated state-wise,” Cain said. “They’re a fun team to play.”
At South Kitsap 2, Olympia 2
First half-1, Olympia, Jenna Killman (Marlene Sawhill), 27th minute; 2, Olympia, Brooklynn Hooper (Killman), 35th; 3, South Kitsap, Ari de la Cruz (Hailey Parker), 36th.
Second half-4, South Kitsap, Rachael Prince (de la Cruz), 59th.
South Kitsap 0, at Stadium 0