KINGSTON — It was a fitting end to the 2018 North Kitsap Derby.
The Buccaneers and Vikings had played seven consecutive regular season, one-goal games dating back to 2014. The two teams officially made it eight in a row after 80 scoreless minutes of regulation play and two five-minute overtimes. A penalty shootout would decide the winner.
Kingston sophomore Judah Andrews ripped a shot into the lower right corner of the net to give the Buccaneers a victory and a season sweep of their district rival for the first time in at least five years.
“I’m glad it came out the way it did, we were fortunate,” Kingston head coach Craig Smith said. “Tip of the hat to North’s character and heart, like always.”
The Buccaneers won the shootout 6-5 on goals by Andrews, Henry Golden, Bradley Walgren, Ian Lanfear, Davey Anderson and Adin Bowers. Clayton Bond, Nick Cullen, Wyatt Murphy, Race Schultz and Joey Gore scored for North Kitsap.
Kingston took a 3-2 lead on Lanfear’s goal after keeper Ian Schmid made a save on North Kitsap’s Noah Elkington. Murphy answered with a goal in the top of the fourth round and then Preston Gunnell, aiming for the top corner, pushed a ball just inches wide of the goal.
In the seventh round, Schmid dove to his left to stop a shot by Ryan Shane, giving his team a chance to ice the victory. Andrews then went to the penalty spot and scored the winning goal.
“My teammates told me to just pick a spot before you go up and don’t change it,” Andrews said.
The Bucs had the better of the play for the majority of the game — the first especially felt as if the field had been tilted toward the North Kitsap goal. Golden got off a solid shot early in the game, but Giacomo Battu was there to make the stop. Luke Reeder had an opportunity off a feed from Ben Hewett, but Reeder just chipped the ball over the top of the net.
The Vikings found some offensive rhythm late in the game and began to press for a late goal. Cullen surprised the Kingston defense with a quick release on a shot from near the top of the 18-yard box that went just wide. In overtime, a quick turnaround shot by Nate Blanchard also rolled just a few inches wide of goal.
“We started to find a rhythm, the middle opened up for us, we just couldn’t execute,” North Kitsap head coach Greg St. Peter said. “It was good effort, though, I’m proud of our guys. It was a good game and we got a point.”
Since Kingston High School opened in 2007, the two boys soccer programs arguably have had the most fierce, but friendly, rivalry between the two schools, owing to the on-field success of the two programs and the familiarity between the players and coaches. April 23, 2014 was the last time this matchup yielded a multiple-goal victory, a 2-0 Kingston win. North Kitsap had won 2-0 over Kingston a month prior.
Many of the players have grown up together and often play with one another on the same club teams. Players from both teams were seen posing in pictures with one another following the game, especially the seniors for whom this was the last regular season matchup between the two schools.
St. Peter is also one of Smith’s former players. St. Peter is a graduate of North Kitsap and played for Smith during his time at the helm there.
The rivalry often makes for entertaining matches, though they can be difficult for the coaches.
“I think the nerves, mentally, it’s such a challenge for these guys, because they get so pumped up for it,” St. Peter said.
And the community often responds. The bleachers at Kingston High School were full despite the chilly late-evening temperature.
“They come out for it,” Smith said. “Look at the crowd, it’s as big as a football game. And I couldn’t tell who had the majority.”