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Mental errors doom Wolves
South Kitsap's boys soccer team was competitive in every match during the regular season.
That's the positive.
But the Wolves also were two goals short of a Narrows League championship.
Stadium junior Bailey Martin took a deflected header and kicked it past goalkeeper Daniel Lathrop for the go-ahead goal in the 63rd minute to lead the Tigers to a 2-1 win against South in the league finale for both teams Thursday.
The loss left South, which suffered a 4-3 setback Saturday against Bellarmine Prep, in a tie for third place. Gig Harbor, which tied Olympia, 1-all, Thursday, finished with an identical league mark.
South (8-2-1 overall, 7-2-1 league) wins the tiebreaker because of its 2-0 win April 9 at Gig Harbor, and hosts No. 6 Central Kitsap in the first round of the league tournament at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Joe Knowles Field.
But the Wolves, who lost two of their last three matches, know they will have to play better. Stadium (10-1-0, 9-1-0) scored its first goal in the 20th on what South coach Michael Krug characterized as a "silly foul" that resulted in a penalty kick for junior Jamael Cox.
"Right now we're the only team that's beating us," Krug said. "We're making some mental errors."
Scoring opportunities were rare for both teams as the ball stayed in the middle third of the field for most of the match. But Wolves senior forward Brent Ricigliano, whose shot went about a foot high of the goal in the 42nd, hit a shot that was deflected off goalkeeper Eric Owen into the net to tie the match in the 54th.
South, which had five consecutive shutouts before the Bellarmine Prep match, couldn't contain the Tigers long enough, though. Senior Jason Skolnik was injured a couple of minutes before Bailey's goal.
"Jason was playing phenomenally," said Krug, adding that Skolnik will play Wednesday. "When he got hurt we slid someone in there and instead of the team jelling with that new piece and being coherent, they broke down.
"If there's another player coming in, they have to buy in and accept it."
The game easily could have been a tie as Moore got behind Owen in the 34th and scored. But Moore, who said the goal was called off because an official said he ran into Owen, thinks it's time to move forward.
"We're in the tournament," he said. "We need to capitalize on the opportunities we have."
Stadium 2, at South Kitsap 1
First half-1, Stadium, Jamael Cox, 20th minute.
Second half-2, South Kitsap, Brent Ricigliano, 54th; 3, Stadium, Bailey Martin, 63rd.