NK overtakes Klahowya in final minutes

"SILVERDALE - By the time 77 minutes of Tuesday's soccer game with Klahowya had ticked past, the North Kitsap High School girls soccer team apparently had decided it wasn't going to be able to go through the Eagles. Luckily for North, they got an opportunity in the dying minutes of regulation time to go over them, instead. Lindsey Ross tucked a 25-yard free kick under the crossbar after lofting it over both Klahowya's defensive wall and freshman goalkeeper Alicia Langdon for the only goal in the Olympic League matchup at Silverdale Stadium. That was just a nice shot, Klahowya coach Troy Oelschlager said, tipping his cap to Ross' game-winning marksmanship. I bet if she took 10 of those shots, she wouldn't make more than one of them. One point was all it took for NK to escape with three points that allowed it to stay tied atop the Olympic League table going into the Thursday, Sept. 21 round of games, when the Vikings had a bye. "

“SILVERDALE – By the time 77 minutes of Tuesday’s soccer game with Klahowya had ticked past, the North Kitsap High School girls soccer team apparently had decided it wasn’t going to be able to go through the Eagles. Luckily for North, they got an opportunity in the dying minutes of regulation time to go over them, instead. Lindsey Ross tucked a 25-yard free kick under the crossbar after lofting it over both Klahowya’s defensive wall and freshman goalkeeper Alicia Langdon for the only goal in the Olympic League matchup at Silverdale Stadium. That was just a nice shot, Klahowya coach Troy Oelschlager said, tipping his cap to Ross’ game-winning marksmanship. I bet if she took 10 of those shots, she wouldn’t make more than one of them. One point was all it took for NK to escape with three points that allowed it to stay tied atop the Olympic League table going into the Thursday, Sept. 21 round of games, when the Vikings had a bye. Lindsey’s very good at free kicks, said North coach Teri Ishihara. From that distance, we felt pretty good. The Vikings could’ve been excused for feeling a little edgy about the kick, even with the adroit senior Ross over the ball. Earlier in the game, they’d managed to find the left goalpost and the crossbar, but not the net. A shot by Lindsey Rarick at 17 minutes wouldn’t have counted anyway, since it came off an indirect free kick and failed to touch another player before it hooked onto the near post. Shannon Smalley’s 20-yarder midway through the second half skimmed the top of lumber. There weren’t many other chances against a Klahowya team that concentrates on defense and waits to spring junior Hilary Crisman for counterattacking opportunities. Though NK outshot the Eagles 11-5, Ross’ goal was the only stern test for Langdon. We were pressuring them really well on defense, said Oelschlager. That’s how we’re going to win games. (North) had a few more opportunities than us, but at certain times I thought we were very evenly matched. Ishihara, though, thought the low score has at least as much to do with her own team’s offensive reticence as with the Klahowyans’ defensive resolve. They have a tendency to work a lot on possession, Ishihara said of her players. I think that’s so ingrained in them that when they get in the attacking end, they’re afraid to take risks. Ishihara said her team’s reluctance to attack has resulted in fewer chances to score, which in turn adds pressure when an opportunity to finish does present itself. It’s mental right now, she said. Klahowya, on the other hand, is unapologetic about making defense its highest priority. Even when the Vikings retreated into their own end rather than give up possession, only Crisman and Kasey Cowdin were up front trying unsuccessfully to make them pay for their overcautiousness. Our defense is getting a lot stronger, said Oelschlager, whose team emerged from the treacherous going of the Olympic League to win the state Class 2A championship last fall. We’re only giving up about a goal a game, and that’s not bad against the bigger schools. But to make that defensive improvement meaningful, Oelschlager said, the Eagles have to find a way to punch in a few goals of their own. So far this season, only Crisman, with four goals, has found fruition on the attack. I’d like to see us get more creative on offense, Oelschlager said of a team that still leans heavily on freshmen and sophomores, particularly along the back line. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time. The few touches Crisman got within shooting distance of the North Kitsap goal were turned away without much incident by senior sweeper Brandy Madle, who also caused Klahowya’s defense some discomfort with some well-timed overlapping runs. Mercedi Smalley and Lacey Cooper each made one save as they played one half each of the shutout in goal. “

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