North Kitsap’s girls soccer team extended its winning streak to five games after a comeback victory against Port Angeles 3-2 Sept. 26.
“It was stressful in a variety of ways,” coach Travis Rider said. “The girls adapted, and it was great to see them execute.”
NK’s offense had a hot start by earning a corner kick 30 seconds into the game. However, the Vikings were held scoreless throughout most of the first half for a variety of reasons.
“We very much like to play with possession, and PA was playing direct balls as much as they could,” Rider said. “It can break your rhythm and hard to pick the ball off when they send it so we had to keep resetting.”
Port Angeles had a few opportunities within the half but the Roughriders shots went over the crossbar. Although PA played the long ball well, it became susceptible to counter-attacks. Therefore, Natalie Holmberg scored on a breakaway with 10 minutes left before intermission to take a 1-0 lead.
PA then changed tactics by playing an offsides trap against the Vikings. “They respected our speed,” Rider said. “It was a good direction from their coach.”
The Roughriders picked off a couple of passes, and Teanna Clark scored from 30 yards out and Becca Manson scored from 40 yards away to give PA a 2-1 lead.
NK flipped into another gear and began to put shots on the net several times. Syleena Hogan shot a free kick into the box with 15 minutes left, and it deflected off a PA defender into the goal to tie the game 2-2.
With a handful of minutes remaining, Evelyn Beers rallied down the left sideline before crossing a ball on goal. The Roughriders goalie deflected the ball and Olivia Cary headed it into the net for the game-winning score.
“I always run in the crosses,” Cary said. “I was just trying to put any body part on it. It was nerve-wracking because it was 2-2 and had my heart racing.”
Once Cary scored, the emotions on her face were priceless. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. You can’t even describe it because you know there is so little time left so scoring that goal relieves.”