Central Kitsap junior Devon Graham looks upfield against Seattle Prep. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Central Kitsap junior Devon Graham looks upfield against Seattle Prep. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Central Kitsap defeats Seattle Prep in penalty kicks to advance to the 3A state quarterfinals; North Kitsap defeats Cheney in 2A state tournament

SEATTLE — Central Kitsap nearly had their first match of the 3A state tournament in the bag when disaster struck.

Nearly four minutes into extra time on Wednesday night, Seattle Prep got a free kick from inside 25 yards and managed to tie the match at one, sending it off to overtime.

But the Cougars fought back and stalemated the Panthers through overtime to send the match to penalty kicks. After keeper Kiley Hall made an outstanding diving save on the first Seattle Prep kicker, Central Kitsap converted all five of its opportunities to advance to the 3A quarterfinals.

Freshman Ella Smith scored the match-winner after successful shots by Madisyn Diabo, Madilynn Wood, Delaney Homewood and Ailin Zhang.

“She just buried it,” said head coach Keith Sargent. “All five of them buried it.”

Smith was put in a high-pressure situation, but the youngster didn’t hesitate. Once she set the ball, she picked her target and struck it with the confidence of a pro. Moments later, her entire team was rushing towards her to celebrate.

“I don’t take them that often for club, but coming in I felt pretty confident,” Smith said. “I knew what I needed to do for my team.”

The Panthers put plenty of pressure on the Cougars’ backline, spending a good portion of the game attacking, but the unit held firm. An early corner kick nearly fell to the feet of a Seattle Prep player just in front of the goal line, but Hall got there just in time to smother the ball. That was their best chance until the late goal.

“Seattle Prep was coming at us hard,” Sargent said. “We just weathered the storm.”

Central Kitsap finally got its break early in the second half. Marielle Arnold sprung free forward Paris Agana, who used her speed to pull away from the defense and bury a shot into the lower left corner and give her team a 1-0 lead.

Although they had spent so much time defending, the Cougars were still playing well enough to win and the match never felt tilted against them. But a fortunate foul call gave Seattle Prep the opportunity they needed to tie it.

The coaching staff was particularly pleased at how well their young team responded to the adversity they faced. They stayed cool and calm, never panicking even after giving up a heartbreaking goal late in the match.

“That’s a tall order,” Sargent said. “For the freshmen to come in and the sophomores that are putting their time in, it’s a good feeling for them because it builds for next year and the years to come, so we’re excited about that.”

With the victory, Central Kitsap moves on to face Mountain View, the team that knocked them out of the district tournament last year in penalty kicks. The game time and date is still to be determined, but the team will likely be taking the long trip down to Vancouver on Saturday for an early afternoon match.

“We’re not going to let anyone get in our way,” Smith said. “We’re going to keep going.”

North Kitsap knocks off Cheney 1-0 out in eastern Washington

The Vikings traveled a long way for their first match in the 2A state tournament, but came away victorious, 1-0, over Cheney at Gonzaga Prep.

Audrey Zinn scored with under three minutes remaining to break a scoreless deadlock.

North Kitsap will face Selah — which beat Orting 10-0 in the first round — in the quarterfinals, likely on Saturday afternoon at Karl Graf Stadium.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.

Kiley Hall gets a high-five from her head coach after Central Kitsap won the penalty shootout. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kiley Hall gets a high-five from her head coach after Central Kitsap won the penalty shootout. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Makayla Stockman winds up to pitch for the Vikings. Steve Powell/File Photos
NK girls make it to state the hard way

Competitions took place last weekend to see who would advance to the… Continue reading

Senior catcher Colton Bower was a big reason for NK’s success this season. He will be on scholarship to play for Washington State University next year.
NK baseball stunned in 1st round at state

North Kitsap’s baseball team won over 20 games and only lost a… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading