Even though North Kitsap defeated the Bremerton Knights 4-0 Apr. 18, it was a sloppy performance for the Vikings.
“After a big win last week, the challenge was to match that and continue to play like that no matter who the opponent is,” coach Greg St. Peter said. “The standard we set wasn’t displayed today.”
Both sides had a handful of long-shot opportunities outside the box and through balls sent too long. However, NK capitalized nine minutes into the game when Angel Chavez assisted Blake Hopefinger’s goal from the top of the box.
Bremerton had its first opportunity with 15 minutes left in the first half when a free kick made its way into the box. Yet, several Vikings and Knights bounced the ball around before it rebounded back to midfield.
“A lot of respect to Bremerton; they got a lot of speed and talent,” St. Peter said.
Bremerton ended the first half with a chance in front of the net. Evan Falk juked a couple of defenders and crossed it at the 6-yard box before Viking goalie Justin Anderson made the save.
In the second half, questionable officiating slowed play. Knight Silas Erwin was on a breakaway before being dragged down in the box with no penalty called. And NK missed a chance on a controversial offside call.
Bremerton had its greatest chance saved on the goalline. A quick throw-in led to a breakaway opportunity before a Bremerton striker and Viking Anderson collided. Instead of stopping the play for a foul, the game continued and Bremerton shot on goal.
However, Chavez saved the ball on the line with a potential handball before the ball was cleared for another throw-in and play stopped for Anderson on the ground.
With ten minutes left in the game, NK found its rhythm. Logan Anderson scored on a penalty kick to make it 2-0. “After the second goal, it was a big relief,” St. Peter said. “Things opened up for us to counter and score goals.”
In the following minutes, Anderson scored on a breakaway and assisted Aaron Lopez for the third and fourth goals of the game.
With the win, the Vikings inched closer to an Olympic League title and pushed Bremerton solely into third place. However, the Viking coach said they have to keep working hard. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know that the better team sometimes won’t score and lose,” St. Peter said. “We are playing against ourselves and getting ourselves mentally prepared for the playoffs.”