PORT ORCHARD — Last year was supposed to be Megan Nail’s time to shine.
The talented goalkeeper had spent two years as a backup on South Kitsap’s varsity team. But when all-leaguer Chandler Greenwood graduated in 2017, the job was Nail’s for the taking.
Then a freak accident robbed her of her junior season. Riding a dirtbike in Belfair, the throttle became stuck and she hit something in the brush on the side of the trail. The force kicked her off the bike, and she broke her wrist as she landed.
Dirtbiking was an activity that Nail, who plans to play soccer next year at University of San Francisco, quickly discontinued.
“I sold it the day after,” Nail said.
Now a senior, Nail is making up for lost time. South Kitsap is currently 3-0-1 on the season and the team has given up just two goals. Although she recovered in time to play in a couple of matches at the end of the season last year, she wasn’t quite her usual self.
“There’s no timidness from her now — she’s ready to go,” head coach K-Lee Haynes said.
Against Klahowya on Sept. 12, the final game before the South Puget Sound League pre-season begins, Nail was out there gobbling up every shot that came near her. The Eagles mustered their fair share of attempts at net, but Nail and the Wolves shut them out, 2-0.
Mackenzie Sinclair sparked the offense with a goal and an assist. She set up teammate Franqie Moppins with a glorious opportunity just three minutes into the match. She scored on the rebound of a shot by Mia Alipio in the 57th minute.
Sinclair is a newcomer to the team this year — she previously played for a club that did not allow her to play high school soccer, but she was free to join the Wolves after switching to a new team.
“She’s definitely very dynamic in our attack,” Haynes said. “She works her butt off for us. She finds those open passes. She rebounds everything. She just goes and goes and goes.”
The team has plenty of time to ease into its league slate thanks to a quirk in the SPSL schedule. Instead of playing each team twice, which would result in a 16-game league schedule, only the results of the final eight games will go toward determining district seeding.
South Kitsap will get an idea of how they stack up in the league with four games against SPSL foes in late September. But the games count beginning with an Oct. 4 match at home against Sumner.
And the Wolves have expectations of returning to the postseason after finishing one point behind Rogers and Emerald Ridge, which took the final two playoff spots last year.
“I have high hopes for them,” Haynes said. “My girls have a lot of talent, and they just have to bring it every game. If they bring it every game, they have a good chance.”
South Kitsap 2, Klahowya 0
KL 0 0 — 0
SK 1 1 — 2
First Half — SK, Franqie Moppins (Mackenzie Sinclair), 3rd.
Second Half — SK, Sinclair (Mia Alipio), 57th.