Henry is good as Gold(en) in Kingston’s 2-1 victory over Klahowya

The senior forward scored twice , including the winner late in the match

SILVERDALE — It took nearly all 80 minutes, but Kingston senior forward Henry Golden lifted his team to victory with a late goal shortly before the final whistle against Klahowya to secure a thrilling 2-1 victory on March 19.

These two teams are used to playing close games. Every match between the Eagles and Buccaneers has been decided by one goal since the 2015 season, and Monday night was no different.

“It was a beautiful finish,” Kingston head coach Craig Smith said.

Klahowya came out firing, taking a lot of shots early on. However, it wasn’t the offense that triggered “oohs” and “aahs” from the fans; it was the defense.

Eagles senior goalkeeper Parker Short made a stop with his legs to save it from getting past him just a couple minutes into the game. A few minutes later, Kingston mustered another shot toward the goal. It ricocheted off Short, and the follow up didn’t make it through to the net.

In the 7th minute, Eagles forward Darius Joe nearly had a golden opportunity. He and Kingston keeper Ian Schmid raced for a loose ball, but just as Joe pumped his leg back to let out a powerful kick toward the net, Schmid laid on the ground to keep the ball from rolling any further.

“In the first half, we dominated possession,” Klahowya head coach Jeff Quinn said. “We just couldn’t score.”

Klahowya sophomore midfielder William Stewart finally connected for a goal in the 46th minute to put the Eagles on top. The score temporarily stunned the Buccaneers, but they would soon recover.

“The [Buccaneers] were pretty shocked like, ‘Wow, that shouldn’t happen.’” Quinn said when his team scored. “So, they really stepped it up. They kind of elevated their game and we were on our heels, playing a little more desperate.”

Down by one with just over 20 minutes left in the game, Golden hit the back of the net to tie it up again. The Buccaneers almost took the lead a few minutes later as junior defender Bradley Walgren stood on the sidelines, preparing to throw in.

Walgren tossed the ball to senior midfielder Luke Reeder, who attempted to head it backward into the net behind him for a goal, but the ball went just a bit wide of the net.

With under two minutes remaining and the game even at 1-1, the game seemed destined for overtime. Until Golden came up big again for Kingston.

Midfielder Ian Lanfear one-touched the ball as he back-kicked it toward Golden, who didn’t hesitate and fired a shot into the net. Golden ran off to celebrate with his teammates, who had erupted in cheers.

Although the Eagles had a couple more opportunities before the game ended, Kingston’s defense held on for its third consecutive victory against Klahowya and its third win of the season.

“They’re skilled, they’re tactical, they’re obviously very sound and they’re faster than greased lightning,” Smith said of Kingston’s team. “I don’t know why they don’t go straight to net — because that’s the makings of a spectacular team.”

Going “straight to net” was something Quinn also mentioned following his team’s loss. He said the Eagles had chances throughout the game, especially in the first half. However, his athletes slowed the match down instead of taking more aggressive shots from ideal areas.

“We don’t always take [shots] from the most effective places,” he said. “The crazy thing is you would think a team that good, with that much shooting power would shoot more — that they would take every chance they had to hit the ball, but they all want to sort of wait.”

— Jacob Moore is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact him at Jmoore@soundpublishing.com.

Klahowya sophomore midfielder Cameron Johnson tries to keep the ball in bounds during the match against Kingston on March 19. Jacob Moore | Kitsap News Group

Klahowya sophomore midfielder Cameron Johnson tries to keep the ball in bounds during the match against Kingston on March 19. Jacob Moore | Kitsap News Group