SHORELINE — It was a play Klahowya had seen several times before, but they were usually on the other end of it.
Callie Wright scored a goal off a short corner kick play in the 65th minute that put Kings ahead of Klahowya, 3-2, in the 1A state soccer quarterfinals on Nov. 11. That goal would turn out to be the decisive one, ending the Eagles’ season.
“The winning goal was off a play we’ve been doing all season long,” said Klahowya head coach Troy Oelschlager. “That was kind of ironic.”
Klahowya was able to rally back after initially going down a goal in the fifth minute on a strike by Kings midfielder Emma Fleming. Midfielder Alyssa Peters tied the game in the 35th minute, and forward Tyler Townsend put Klahowya ahead just before the half.
Meg Travis scored to tie the match just after the break, and the two teams went back and forth for the rest of the half. Oelschlager described Kings as the more efficient of the two sides, capitalizing on their chances while Klahowya was unable to find an equalizer in the final 15 minutes.
“It could have went either way,” said Oelschlager. “They had good speed and they were very prepared on their set plays, especially corner kicks. We didn’t deal with that very well.”
Nearly the entire roster returns next year, although two very important contributors in keeper Emma Hough and defender Hailey Sargent will graduate. The rest of the returning players were mostly juniors and sophomores who had not previously gone this far in the state tournament.
“You play that game ten times, it’s probably 50-50 in terms of wins and losses,” said Oelschlager. “We’ll probably run into them again next year.”
NK falls to Liberty in state quarterfinals
RENTON — After a solid season that saw the Vikings place second in the league and place second at districts, they were eliminated from the state playoffs in the quarterfinals in a 3-0 loss to Liberty High School on Nov. 11.
The two teams were in a scoreless deadlock at halftime, but Liberty sophomore Myka Carr scored just four minutes after the break and her older sister, senior captain Makena Carr, scored twice late in the second half to advance the Patriots into the semifinals.
“We did a very good job defensively,” said North Kitsap head coach Greg St. Peter. “We knew if we made any adjustments, it would open up the game for them, so once we went down a goal, we had to open it up.”
But despite the loss of a few key players from the previous year’s teams, the Vikings made it back-to-back appearances in the state quarterfinals.
“No one expected our team last year to do that, especially with the players we lost the previous year,” said St. Peter. “And this year we lost league MVP Briann George, who was our main goal scorer. I was wondering where our goals would come from.”
The Vikings (13-7) did struggle to score goals early in the season. Getting into the heart of their league schedule, they scored just three goals in a five game stretch. But following big wins over Kingston, Port Angeles, Bremerton and Olympic, North Kitsap found success scoring by committee.
The Vikings went on to defeat Franklin Pierce and Orting at districts, before losing to White River to earn the Olympic League’s No. 2 seed in the state tournament.
“That’s the thing that really impressed me most about this team,” said St. Peter. “There’s no one that statistically stood out and made a huge mark.”
With the season hanging in the balance in a first round matchup with Hockinson, Charlotte Bond scored an equalizer in the 78th minute to send the match to extra time. Jamison Jacobson then put North Kitsap into the quarterfinals with the shootout winner.
And with the team only losing three seniors to graduation, St. Peter expects a return to the state tournament in 2018 — although keeper Chloe Whitbeck, defender Maia Larsen and midfielder Emily Shipley will not be easy to replace.
“In goal, that’s going to be a competitive position to fill,” said St. Peter. “And Maia Larsen really anchored the defense, she was a huge part of our success. Last year we lost four, so we had a nice core that we built off of for the following season. The goal is get to state and see what happens. That doesn’t change much.”
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.