Sports

Wolves' next goal: winning final four

Kitsap County boys soccer teams in state semifinals

Year School Opponent Result

1986 North Kitsap Liberty L 3-2

2006 South Kitsap Lake Stevens W 1-0 (shootout)

South Kitsap will play in the boys soccer final four for the second time in four seasons.

Senior Justin Moore scored on a cross from Diego Aceves-de la Cruz to lead the Wolves to a 1-0 win Saturday in the Class 4A state playoffs against Snohomish at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

South (13-3-1), which played its first two state matches at the opposing team's venue, now will head to a neutral site. The Wolves play at 6 p.m. Friday against Marysville-Pilchuck at Lakewood's Harry E. Lang Stadium.

They are just the third team from Kitsap County to advance to the state semifinals. North Kitsap won its first two matches at state in 1986 before losing 3-2 against Liberty. In South's most recent state appearance, in 2006, former coach Eric Bergeson guided his team to the championship, where it lost 5-1 against Snohomish.

"Anything less than getting into the championship game is going to feel a little disappointing," South coach Michael Krug said. "We have bigger goals than the final four."

Moore didn't play for the Wolves as a freshman — he was still playing baseball back then — but appreciates the significance of beating the Panthers. There are a few seniors remaining in the program who played as freshmen.

"It's definitely big for them," he said. "And it's big for me too. I'm part of this now."

The victory means Moore and his classmates might not be able to attend prom. That's because the state championship is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday. If the Wolves lose against Marysville-Pilchuck, they still will play for third place at 3 p.m. Saturday.

"Either way, it will be a fun Saturday," said Moore, who met with his prom date after the win. "We'll work it out."

After all, it was Moore who helped put his team in this position. South had seven shots on goal, while Snohomish (15-5-1) had three. Krug admits that doesn't always make his club the "prettiest team," but he believes it plays well into the team's strength with forwards Moore and Brent Ricigliano in addition to the defense.

Krug also was happy to see his team play well without junior midfielder Nico de la Cruz, who was playing for a club team in Florida. He said de la Cruz will be back for the final two matches.

"It's nice to see the boys win without him," Krug said. "We knew they could."

Before beating Snohomish, the Wolves had to win their first-round state match Tuesday against Roosevelt and their West Central District contest versus Todd Beamer on May 16 via shootout.

"I'm happy for the boys," Krug said. "This is a derivative of their hard work and dedication."

State quarterfinals

At Snohomish's Veterans Memorial Stadium

South Kitsap 1, Snohomish 0

First half-1, South Kitsap, Justin Moore (Diego Aceves-de la Cruz), 30th minute.

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