POULSBO — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That was the motto for North Kitsap’s Charlotte Bond, who hit the goalpost on consecutive shots in the second half, but feverishly pressed on and scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory that guaranteed her team a place in the 2A state tournament.
It was the 41st minute of a scoreless game. The Vikings had the better of the play for much of the first half, but it was their opponent, Orting, that had the two best chances. But the Vikings’ top striker finally had an opportunity from in close.
“I was facing the other way, and I was only five yards from the goal,” Bond said. “I wasn’t sure if there was another defender behind me, but I knew I didn’t have time to turn around.”
With that information at hand, Bond back-heeled the ball right into the left post. She then slammed her rebound off the underside the crossbar, which was ruled to have not gone in.
With the rain coming down, the match could have easily become a slog — exactly the type of game that might allow the Cardinals to hang around. While the Vikings never looked desperate, there was certainly an urgency to each subsequent scoring chance as they looked to put Orting away in regulation and not take their chances in overtime or penalties.
And North Kitsap had other chances. Mia St. Peter rang a shot off the crossbar in the 47th minute and Bond had a sure goal swept away off the line by Orting’s Alyssa Friddle. But any worries were soon wiped away as Bond got her redemption.
In the 68th minute, a free kick from the right side by Abigail Ginn found Bond’s feet, and the junior midfielder deposited the ball into the back of the net.
“They started to create some good opportunities,” head coach Greg. St. Peter said. “We changed our system to adjust a little bit and it opened them up and gave us more opportunities.”
The win sends North Kitsap on to the district finals, where they will play a surprising Sequim team for the No. 1 seed and the district championship. Sequim was the No. 12 and final seed in the tournament, but they have dispatched Highline and No. 1 White River in their two games. North Kitsap and Sequim split their regular season series.
The match is currently scheduled for Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Franklin Pierce High School, but that game could be moved to North Kitsap.
“It’s right there for the taking,” St. Peter said.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.