SK survives shootout in victory

t Wolves defeat Stadium in Narrows Tourney, but not without

a little drama.

South Kitsap’s girls soccer team played the role of struggling challenger on election night.

After all, it’s rare when a team can’t convert its first two opportunities during a shootout and still wins.

But that’s exactly what the Wolves accomplished Tuesday night in the Narrows League Tournament at Mount Tahoma High School.

Brianna Waldon, Crystal Polen and Riley Dopps converted the final three attempts against Stadium goalkeeper Keisha Parker, while their own keeper, junior Holly Sieler, saved three of the Tigers’ four attempts.

“My mentality was nothing past me,” Sieler said. “This is for my team and it’s like state for us. It’s like winning state — every game is that important to us the rest of the way.”

The result was a 4-3 advantage in the shootout that broke a 1-1 tie to give the Wolves the win. South (11-4-1) earned the No. 3 seed out of the Narrows into the West Central District Tournament.

The Wolves play the South Puget Sound League’s fourth seed at 11 a.m. today at Mount Tahoma with the winner claiming the district’s sixth berth into the state playoffs.

“The girls just continue to find ways to win games and find ways to improve,” South coach Michael Krug said. “This is just another testament to their character and they continue to shine through.”

South had little difficulty in its previous outing against the Tigers, who finished second in league behind Bellarmine Prep, with a 5-3 win Oct. 23 at Joe Knowles Field. But the Wolves couldn’t score this time until the 57th minute when senior midfielder Courtney Mayo’s penalty kick found the right side of the goal to give South a 1-0 lead.

It looked like it might remain that way until Stadium forward Sara Edge emerged from a cluster and kicked the ball off the side of the right goal. The ball found its way into the net to tie the game.

“I blame that all on myself,” Sieler said. “It was a one-second mistake where I wasn’t in the right position and it caused the goal. Fortunately, we came back from it.”

Both teams had another opportunity to score in regulation, but Tigers midfielder Tiana Brockway’s penalty kick went a foot higher than the goal post in the 78th, and South defender Dopps had her shot toward the center of the goal saved by Parker.

Neither team mounted a threat during the two five-minute overtime sessions before Stadium (12-4-0) took a 1-0 advantage in the shootout when midfielder Chelsea Jennings converted the first opportunity.

Ironically, the win could give South a worse position in the state tournament than Stadium. If both teams win Saturday, the Tigers would end up with the fifth seed at districts.

Krug wouldn’t discount the important of the win, though.

“Psychologically, every win matters,” he said.

The Wolves captured the win without one of their best players. Junior midfielder Christina Boddie sat out with a knee bruise. Her only action in the match came in the shootout, but she expects to play today.

“We just rested her,” Krug said. “Saved her for state and gave some other players opportunities.”

The win puts the Wolves a victory away from state. South reached this point last year, but was eliminated with a 3-2 loss against Kentwood.

To be successful, Sieler said the Wolves need to maintain the same mentality that helped them beat Stadium.

“Underdogs or not, we wanted that more,” she said. “We worked for it harder, even down to the end. My team didn’t let up, and that pushed me higher.”

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