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Wolves overcome slow start to win opener
Early nonleague matches often are a time for experimentation.
For South Kitsap's new girls soccer coach, Julie Cain, it was an opportunity to find what she had in the program.
Junior Kelsey Callaghan and sophomore Kailey Lyman, both of whom played in the midfield during the Wolves’ state-playoff run last year, took a try at forward. And a few freshmen even saw playing time.
The result was a slow start before a seven-minute breakout in the second half propelled South to a 4-2 season-opening win Tuesday night against Roosevelt at Joe Knowles Field.
“I think we were nervous getting together for the first time,” said freshman forward Rebecca Schoales, who attends Marcus Whitman Junior High. “We came together as a team toward the end.”
Roosevelt actually scored first when junior midfielder Jesse Ayers’ shot toward the left goalpost beat senior goalkeeper Holly Sieler to take a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
South responded three minutes later when Roughriders goalkeeper Zoe Birkbeck slipped and Lyman deflected the ball off her into the goal.
But the Wolves weren’t getting as many scoring opportunities as Cain felt they should, and that became the focal point of the halftime meeting.
“We tightened up in our midfield and I think that kind of turned the game for us,” she said. “We could possess it in the midfield without giving them so much space.”
It seemed to work as South took the lead for good when senior forward Christina Boddie took a pass from Schoales and beat the freshman Birkbeck in the 42nd.
“I thought Boddie had a great game,” Cain said. “She’s creative in there. She kind of hides and then gets right up in there.”
The Wolves extended their lead to 3-1 seven minutes later Schoales shot to the right side of the goal to beat Birkbeck. It was the first career goal for the younger sister of former South soccer player Kyle Schoales, a 2007 graduate.
“She’s going to be special,” said Cain, adding that she’s excited about pairing Schoales with senior Courtney Brown up front when the latter returns from a broken leg she suffered during an Olympic Development Program tryout nearly a year ago. “That’s a performance.”
Both teams scored in the final 10 minutes when senior outside-midfielder Miranda Ness scored on a pass from Callaghan in the 71st. Ayers added her second goal for Roosevelt in the 77th.
Neither junior Riley Dopps nor senior Brianna Waldron — both outside backs — scored, but Cain said they were critical to the offense’s success.
“We used our outside backs to attack with,” she said. “I thought they just dominated from the sides they were on.”
Cain will have another nonleague contest to experiment with the lineup when South plays at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Olympic. The Wolves then begin league play Thursday at Foss.
A former assistant coach at Seattle Pacific University, Cain said that for now, she's enjoying her first win with the Wolves.
“It’s huge for me,” she said. “I’ve got a huge smile on my face.”
At South Kitsap 4, Roosevelt 2
First half-1, Roosevelt, Jesse Ayers, 17th minute; 2, South Kitsap, Kailey Lyman, 20th.
Second half-3, South Kitsap, Christina Boddie (Rebecca Schoales), 42nd; 4, South Kitsap, Schoales, 49th; 5, South Kitsap, Miranda Ness (Kelsey Callaghan), 71st; 6, Roosevelt, Ayers, 77th.