BREMERTON — When Bremerton senior Evan Frankowski flagged down a long pass late in the match against Port Angeles, he was surprised at how much space he had.
Taking control of the ball about 20 yards from goal, he had plenty of time to look up and line up a shot. He then sent the ball up and over the keeper and into the upper right corner of the net.
Frankowski’s goal gave the Knights a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes to go. They held on to earn three points and clinch a place in the postseason.
“I picked my head up and saw the goalie was off his line and I just tried to get a floater over him,” Frankowski said.
Bremerton (8-6-1, 6-6-0) had missed out on a chance to lock up a playoff spot on Tuesday, instead ending up with a disappointing 3-1 loss to North Mason. But the memory of that defeat quickly faded once the final whistle blew and the boys knew they were going back to the district tournament after missing out last season.
“This just brought our heads right back up,” Frankowski said.
Henrique Catel gave the Knights a 1-0 lead early in the game. In the 8th minute, Catel was on the receiving end of a long pass down the left side of the field and the senior midfielder was able to cut in and place a shot into the corner of the net.
Port Angeles (10-3-0, 8-3-0) pressed hard and eventually got the equalizer on Luis Galvan’s 26th minute strike.
But the match’s momentum did not shift from there. The Knights knew what to expect from their opponent after playing a tight 1-0 game against the Roughriders in March and were able to keep pace with their high-powered attack.
“We played them pretty tough up there [on grass] and they came away with a 1-0 win,” head coach Randy Lund said. “We thought we could beat them on field turf. But then again, I’m also a realist and they’re a very good team.”
Bremerton did have some difficult sustaining an attack — much of the second half play took place in the midfield or in the Knights’ end. If they were going to take control of their own destiny and pick up the three points, they could not afford to miss out if a good opportunity presented itself.
Frankowski’s late goal was just what the doctor ordered and Bremerton was able to fend off the Port Angeles attack from there.
“If we had three or four opportunities in the second half and we put one of them away, I thought we’d have a good chance of beating them and that’s exactly what we did,” Lund said.
Bremerton will end up with either the No. 3 or 4 seed. Following Friday’s results, the Knights were tied with North Kitsap with 17 points each, but the Vikings have one more game against North Mason on Monday. If they pick up any points, the Knights will finish fourth and open the district tournament at 2 p.m., May 4 at Franklin Pierce High School.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.