POULSBO — When the North Kitsap Vikings boys soccer team looks back on its 2007 season, it may be able to pinpoint a single game that served as a needed turn in its journey to success.
North’s performance against South Kitsap on Thursday night could be that kind of contest as players reflect on the year when it’s all said and done.
The Vikings didn’t come up with a victory, but they showed the entire state what they’re made of. After 80 excruciating minutes, South Kitsap High School and North battled to a 1-1 tie on a sunny Thursday evening at Viking Stadium.
Vikings forward Zach Sampson said his team should have came away from the game victorious.
“We should have won,” Sampson said. “People have doubted us, but we can play with anybody. South is a good team.”
Despite not coming up with the win, North coach Chris May was proud of the way his team performed against the Wolves, which took second place at state in 2006.
“I am proud of these guys,” May said. “We outplayed them, and they’re one of the top teams in the state. We know we can play with these guys. We will probably see South (Kitsap) in the playoffs. It’s a good confidence builder.”
North’s defensive game plan shut down South’s potent offensive attack. May said scouting South’s offensive tendencies paid off.
“Our defense did a great job of not getting beat by through balls,” May said. “We marked up on all of there players. That was our game plan going into it.”
North wore down South in the second half, finishing the game with 12 shots on goal.
“We had our chances. I thought we played well,” May said. “It was well played game by both teams.”
Either way, North rose to the occasion against their arch-rivals.
“We came out determined tonight and had some spirit,” May said. “It was a tough game and we were ready.”
Forward Mike Catania scored the Vikings’ lone goal of the evening after midfielder Sam Mouser delivered a high looping pass over the South defense on a free kick from about 25 yards away from the goal, tying the game at 1-1 in the 31st minute.
In the final 20 minutes of the game, North’s offense was extremely active on South’s end but couldn’t come up with go ahead score they needed.
“Catania, Sampson and Juraj (Popluhar) put the pressure on their defense in the second half,” May said. “They never let up. They each had high work rates.”
North faces cross county rival Central Kitsap at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in Silverdale.