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Season ends as South Kitsap can't find net
South Kitsap had its opportunities.
The Wolves just could not find the net.
And that was just enough for Kentwood as Reilly Retz scored on a loose ball in the 46th minute and the Conquerors earned their 18th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory Saturday in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at Mount Tahoma High School.
"I think we believed," South coach Julie Cain said with tears in her eyes. "It's tough to lose when you believe."
Kentwood (16-0-4) advances to the semifinals Friday against Skyline at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood, while South (14-1-3) is eliminated from the state playoffs.
"That was a frustrating one," junior Riley Dopps said. "We worked really hard to get here. I don’t even know how to explain it right now. It hurts."
Both teams were without top players. The Wolves' leading scorer, freshman forward Becca Schoales, participated in a national team pool tryout in the 14-and-under age group and missed the match. Schoales has 11 goals. Conquerors junior Kiana Kraft, who has 10 goals, left in the 12th after injuring her left ankle.
Kentwood was outshot 10-4 during the match, but nearly scored in the 40th when midfielder Courtney Roller beat a trio of defenders for a loose ball in the box. But her shot went just left of the goal.
The Conquerors did not miss their next opportunity when Retz emerged from a pack of players off a corner kick by Dana Wareham. Her shot beat Wolves goalkeeper Holly Sieler into the left side of the net.
"The girls set out to prove me wrong this year and break records they set last year and they haven't stopped doing it," said Kentwood coach Aaron Radford. "I can't tell you how proud I am of them."
That was more than enough for his defenders — Madison Fuller, Clarisa Hammer, Andrea Hatfield and Wareham — as they stymied South for the rest of the half. The Conquerors only have allowed two goals all season.
"Getting that goal early in the second half was great," Radford said.
South had perhaps its best scoring opportunity in the 63rd when freshman Brita Oleson's header over Kentwood goalkeeper Courtney Johnson flew just wide right of the post.
It was a difficult finish for the Wolves as several players aspired to match the boys soccer team's state championship from last spring. South now has advanced to the state quarterfinals four times in program history, most recently in 2002, without winning.
"We knew it was going to be a battle coming in," she said. "Both teams undefeated and one team goes home defeated. It never feels good."
Class 4A state girls soccer quarterfinals
Mount Tahoma High School
Kentwood 1, South Kitsap 0
First half: None.
Second half: 1, Kentwood, Reilly Retz (Dana Wareham), 46th minute.