YELM — Not much has come easy this season for South Kitsap.
That much was clear Tuesday night during the Wolves’ 2-1 win at Yelm in a Class 4A Narrows League boys soccer match.
After all, it is rare for a team to lose their goalkeeper during a contest. Two is almost unprecedented. But that is what South dealt with as senior Kyle Metzger and junior Kees Metselaar both left with injuries.
That put the Wolves into a precarious position with about eight minutes remaining and a 2-0 lead as sophomore midfielder Ben Figueroa, who is working his way back from an ankle injury, entered as a goalkeeper.
“We basically just kind of had to kind of make up a goalkeeper,” South coach Cory Vartanian said. “It was either [Figueroa] or a junior-varsity kid.”
Metzger was in position to gain his first league shutout since the Wolves earned a 3-0 win March 21 against Olympia when he left early in the second half.
“I know his groin was hurting at halftime,” said Vartanian, adding that he does not expect Metzger to miss any matches. “I think that kind of got tweaked out a bit when he came out on that dive.”
The outlook on Metselaar does not appear as promising. He remained on the ground for several minutes after Vartanian said Metselaar took a knee to his jaw vying for the ball. Vartanian said he believes Metselaar suffered a concussion.
Three minutes after his departure, sophomore midfielder Nathan Faber beat Figueroa for the Tornados’ lone goal.
At that point, Vartanian was grateful that South (3-4-3 overall, 2-2-2 league) had a lead. The Wolves struggled to capitalize on opportunities during the first half against junior goalkeeper Brice Civiletti, who came up with several saves. That changed when senior midfielder Andrew Hollis’ shot deflected off Civiletti’s hand and into the net in the 37th minute.
“The goalkeeper basically trapped it on the crossbar and it came back down and went into the net,” Vartanian said.
Sophomore Connor Anchick’s goal in the 69th required no assistance as he kicked it into the left side of the net.
The win against Yelm (5-6-0, 1-6-0) marked the first time this year the Wolves have won consecutive contests. They won a nonleague contest 6-0 on Friday against Lakes.
“It’s a big win,” Vartanian said. “It’s a good step to go on the right path. It’s a confidence booster for our kids.”
The match also marked the conclusion of the first half of league play with South in fifth place. The top four teams in 4A Narrows advance to districts.
“We’ve got some tough games,” Vartanian said. “Line them up. Here they come.”
South Kitsap 2, at Yelm 1
First half-1, South Kitsap, Andrew Hollis, 37th minute.
Second half-2, South Kitsap, Connor Anchick, 69th; 3, Yelm, Nathan Faber, 75th.