Central Kitsap advances to state semifinals for the first time in program history; North Kitsap falls to Selah in penalty kicks

VANCOUVER — For the first time in program history, the Central Kitsap girls soccer team is headed to the Class 3A state semifinals.

Their magical run continued on Saturday. The Cougars scored with four minutes to go in regulation and then again in extra time to defeat Mountain View, 2-1, and advance to a semifinal match at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 at Sparks Stadium against Lake Washington.

The Mighty Thunder scored about 18 minutes into the match, and held the lead all the way until the 75th minute when Paris Agana converted a crossing feed from Madisyn Diabo to knot things up at one apiece.

A few minutes later, Marielle Arnold set up Ella Smith for the go-ahead goal.

“Ella sank it beautifully from eight to ten yards out,” said Central Kitsap head coach Keith Sargent.

The Cougars didn’t look to be in the best of shape after going 1-2 in the 3A bi-district tournament. They beat Kelso, 1-0, in their first match, but then failed to score in losses to Bonney Lake and Lakes. Momentum was not on their side heading into the state tournament.

But an emotional win over Seattle Prep helped set them back on the right path, and it helped fuel their ability to keep plugging away against Mountain View.

“The reason is because these girls keep digging, the mental toughness is there,” Sargent said. “They push on.”

North Kitsap falls to Selah in penalty kicks

The Vikings overcame a 2-0 deficit on the road Saturday at Selah in the Class 2A state quarterfinals, but for the fourth year in a row that’s where their season would come to an end as Selah ended up taking the match in penalty kicks.

Grace Billings put North Kitsap on the board in the second half with a beautiful goal from distance. Kamora McMillian then tied the match on a feed from Audrey Zinn.

After overtime failed to produce any goals, the match went to penalties. Charlotte Bond converted her attempt, but two missed shots and a save by the Selah keeper on subsequent kicks brought the season to a close.

“We had done so well all season long,” said North Kitsap head coach Greg St. Peter. “Six shootouts, we won them all. The nerves got to us a little bit. We hit a post, their keeper made a save, another miss and that’s all it took.”

In the past three years, North Kitsap has been eliminated by the eventual 2A state champion — Columbia River and then Liberty twice — so it remains to be seen if that trend holds.

But reaching the final eight in four consecutive years is an outstanding feat in any sport.

“This group has been special,” St. Peter said. “All four years we’ve been in it and we knew coming into this season we could get right back to that and make a good push and we did. We made a very strong push, we finished really strong.”