It was Senior Night at Bainbridge Memorial Stadium, so it was only fitting that the Spartans’ eldest players made the biggest impact.
After two scoreless halves and two more five-minute overtime sessions, the match came down to penalty kicks. Seniors Annie Galbraith and Chloe Boeker converted their opportunities to lift their team to victory.
“If I could write a Senior Night for our seniors, you couldn’t write it any better than that; that the two seniors scored,” Bainbridge coach Katie Drovdahl said.
It’s been quite some time since Bainbridge competed in the Olympic League, the only one in the area that uses overtime and penalty kicks in regular season matches. So it came as a bit of a surprise to the Spartans sideline when the match did not end in a 0-0 tie after 80 minutes.
Galbraith was the first to score in PKs, sending a hard strike on net. The keeper got a piece of it with her hand, but not nearly enough as the ball hit the back of the net.
In the fourth round, Boeker approached the penalty spot with a chance to put away the match. She did just that with a precise shot into the corner.
“I was trying to keep my head muted because I was nervous and jittery,” Boeker said. “I just imagined my teammate in the back corner, passing her a hard ball.”
The Spartans had the better opportunities during regulation. Boeker nearly opened the scoring in the 21st minute, taking a pass from Maggie Faye on the left side and sending a shot just wide of the post.
Late in the first half, Bainbridge had another golden opportunity. A shot from Ellen Murray was blocked, and Gabby Weis chased down the rebound and sent another cross in to Murray, who had a clean look at the net and tried to go above the keeper with the shot. North Kitsap’s Nicole Rosen got her hands on it and sent it over the crossbar.
The Vikings nearly stole the match away late in regulation as Sydnee Hogan sent a threatening free kick on net from about 20 yards away, but keeper Ellen Owen made the stop.
Despite being down a few key players, North Kitsap had plenty of fire for its final match of the season. Coach Greg St. Peter said the team wanted to make up for its flat performance in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Shelton.
“They had all this heart, energy, everything you’d hope to see against a good opponent,” St. Peter said. “It was a good way to end the season.”
For Bainbridge, which was also a bit short-handed due to injuries, this season should help build confidence and a positive trajectory for the fall. The team improved from winning just one game in the Metro League last season to a 5-3 record following the win over North Kitsap.
“For us to have that battle as a team, not give up any goals, not make big any mistakes defensively, make it through the game, and then put it away, that shows we’ve come together so much as a team and grown,” Drovdahl said.