BOYS SOCCER | Wolves squander late lead

South Kitsap settles for tie after goal in 76th minute

It is simple math.

At least that is how South Kitsap coach Cory Vartanian felt after his team tied Stadium, 2-all, April 28 in a Class 4A Narrows League match at Joe Knowles Field.

“We have to win out,” he said. “We’ve put ourselves in this position. It’s unfortunate.”

The Wolves (5-7-4 overall, 4-5-3) appeared to have secured the win until senior midfielder Bryce Ikeda scored in the 76th minute. By Vartanian’s count, that is the fifth late goal his team has surrendered in a league contest that has cost them points. South is fifth in 4A Narrows with four league contests remaining.

“The last 15 minutes of the game we put the brakes on,” Vartanian said. “We give up a cross [for a goal] on a spot foul. The guy was unmarked. It was a lack of communication in the back.”

For Vartanian, it was an amalgamation of the season where “inconsistency” has been a buzzword. Too often, he said, the Wolves play well for 15 minutes only to lapse into a funk.

Junior forward Zane Leines gave the Tigers (3-4-6, 2-4-3) a 1-0 lead in the 33rd.

“I thought the last 25 minutes of the half we were flat,” Vartanian said. “Defensively, I thought that we were a bit soft in the back. We were giving their forwards too much space.”

At times, South’s coaching staff has used halftime to make significant personnel and strategic adjustments. But Vartanian had a different message for his team against Stadium at the intermission.

“It was more just motivation — telling the kids we’ve got to win this game,” he said.

That message appeared to resonate when junior forward Dylan Peterson beat sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Naylor in a one-on-one situation in the 41st.

“It was just a quick counter,” Vartanian said. “We sent a long ball through, Dylan outran the defender and tucked it away.”

Thirteen minutes later, the Wolves took a 2-1 lead when junior midfielder/forward Kristian Hernandez beat Naylor with a shot into the right corner of the net.

“They were two momentum goals,” Vartanian said.

“I just wish we had carried that through the second half. For whatever reason, we get complacent. You can’t do that against any team in this conference.”

And South has little time to figure that out. Only the top three teams in 4A Narrows advance to the district tournament. Vartanian acknowledges his team will need help to advance to the postseason, specifically others beating third-place Olympia, but feels confident his team can secure wins down the stretch.

“We’re a great team,” Vartanian said. “We have proven that we can play against anyone. We’re just telling the kids to stay positive. The season isn’t over.”

At South Kitsap 2, Stadium 2

First half-1, Stadium, Zane Leines, 33rd minute.

Second half-2, South Kitsap, Dylan Peterson (Kristian Hernandez), 41st; 3, South Kitsap, Hernandez (Isaac Sterling), 54th; 4, Stadium, Bryce Ikeda, 76th.

More in Sports

Central Kitsap running back Kouper Hall went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season against North Thurston on Friday night. He had 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 61-7 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap’s big win over North Thurston helps push for playoffs

The Central Kitsap High football team had a whole lot of time… Continue reading

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

The North Kitsap passing game struggled Thursday, but quarterback Colton Bower rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Weather forces NK to use ground game in 32-0 win over BI

If North Kitsap hopes to go far in the state high school… Continue reading

Bainbridge quarterback Jack Grant, left, hands off to Garrett Goade as Port Angeles defender Jeremiah Hall closes in on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 7

Port Angeles 27, Bainbridge 7 The Spartans had their opportunities, but the… Continue reading

Colton Bower passed for 363 yards and six touchdowns in North Kitsap’s 56-21 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower throws 6 TD passes, runs for 100 yards in romp

Friday night brought together a North Kitsap team that loves to air… Continue reading

Bainbridge senior Eden Michael took home a second-place finish in the final regular season cross country league meet at Battle Point Park. Michael’s performance helped lead Bainbridge to a team victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group photos)
Bainbridge girls win final league meet

NK girls, Kingston boys each run to 2nd place

Bainbridge senior Maddy Brown looks to pry the ball loose from a Sequim player during her team’s 1-0 win Thursday night. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Bainbridge maintains top spot with 1-0 win over Sequim

Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for… Continue reading

Finn Miller plays defense against his Mercer Island counterpart, Finn Friedland (7), in Monday night’s water polo match agains the Islanders. Bainbridge won 17-8. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS water polo beats Mercer Island to remain undefeated

In the 50-year history of boys high school water polo in Washington… Continue reading

North Kitsap improved to 4-0 on the season with a 42-7 win over Olympic on Friday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football roundup: Week 5

North Kitsap 42, Olympic 7 The Trojans hung tough for a while,… Continue reading

Colton Bower
Big passing plays spark N. Kitsap over Olympic

The Vikings didn’t get off to their fastest start on Homecoming night,… Continue reading

Allie Wildsmith of Bainbridge blasts a shot through the North Kitsap defense during her team’s five-set win on Thursday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Wildsmith leads Bainbridge to wild finish in win over N. Kitsap

Every time Bainbridge needed to help turn the momentum of the match,… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Community comes together over COVID cancellations

We’re a few weeks into the Fall 2021 prep season, and although… Continue reading