POULSBO — A pair of first-half goals lifted the Central Kitsap Cougars over the North Kitsap Vikings Thursday evening, as the Vikings battled to come back but couldn’t reach the scoreboard.
The Cougars’ goals were scored by Broc Gaboviault and Brandon Screen.
Sweeper Gaboviault put the Cougars ahead 1-0 in the 19th minute as he wheeled and fired a long shot past NK goalie Brenden Phillips.
Screen put the Cougars two goals ahead in the final 30 seconds of the half. He broke free from the defense and booted the ball into the net for CK’s second goal.
The North Kitsap defense stifled other attempts to score, including Rusty Grable, who deflected a throw-in away from the net, and goalie Phillips, who quickly stopped a shot that CK’s Andrew Boyer tried to body into the net.
The Viking defense remained solid in the second half, shutting the Cougars out in those 40 minutes.
It was led by Phillips, who stopped several shots, including a free kick by the Cougars’ Nick Vanbueken.
But Phillips’ counterpart proved equally adept. Sophomore goalie Trevor Lange stopped several Vikings shots, including a blast by Ryan George, a shot from Rory Kinyon after Oscar Hernadez’s pretty pass, and a high-arcing shot by Bryan Kulp that Lange caught before another charging Viking could reach it.
“It seemed like a winable game,” defender Reid Ammann said. “But we were just missing some of the intensity we needed.”
Central Kitsap coach Rob Cole was pleased to see his Cougars (2-3-2 league) finally in good health; sickness and injuries have robbed the team of several early-season matchups.
“We’ve been wishy-washy in the first halves of games,” he said. “We talked a lot about that before this one.”
With two goals in the game’s 40 minutes, Cole was pleased to see that trend reversed.
“We came out passing well,” he said.
The Vikings (1-3-3 L) will next face Bremerton April 18.