North Kitsap defeats Mark Morris, 3-2, on penalty kicks to advance to the state quarterfinals

Abigail Ginn and Isla Lester scored in regulation for the Vikings

POULSBO — When Sophia Pixton stepped into the net in the bottom of the second round of Tuesday night’s shootout, her team’s season was on the line.

A North Kitsap shot had just been saved, so she knew she had to come up big to help pick up her teammate, and she studied her adversary carefully.

“She looked to my left and I took that as a sign she was going to go to her right,” Pixton said.

And with that, she made an all-out dive to her right to stop Mark Morris defender Presley McClung’s shot. Pixton ended up making two more saves in the shootout. Charlotte Bond, Mia St. Peter and Alaina Marcotte all scored to help the Vikings advance to the quarterfinals of the 2A state tournament with a 3-2 victory.

“If it wasn’t for Sophia, we would not be in this position,” head coach Greg St. Peter said. “She has been a major, major factor for us.”

The Vikings dominated the run of play for much of the game, but were occasionally put back on their heels by the Monarchs speed and one-on-one skills. Their quick strike ability could have spelled disaster for a North Kitsap squad that has had some trouble scoring goals in recent games.

But the players were up to the challenge of going toe-to-toe with a quality Mark Morris attack. The Vikings overcame a pair of one-goal deficits to force overtime and the eventual shootout.

“I think this was our best game of the season so far, and the girls learned from last game,” St. Peter said. “It was really disappointing to not get that No. 1 seed in state. That was motivation enough.”

North Kitsap scored a beautiful goal with just six minutes to go in regulation to tie the match. Pixton threw a long ball out to Abigail Ginn on the right side line, and the Vikings went into the counter attack at full speed. The ball traveled from Ginn to Bond, then St. Peter, and finally Isla Lester dribbled in and scored.

The Vikings had completely outplayed the Monarchs in the second half but were in danger of being eliminated after Madison Pond’s 66th minute goal. Lester’s goal was the payoff for all of that hard work.

“I think it came down to individual play and confidence, and it started to be contagious a little bit,” St. Peter said.

The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when Heaven Burr was taken down in the box for a penalty kick. Macie Balkin converted from the spot.

Less than a minute later, Kamora McMillian got free on the left side and hit a solid strike on net. A save was made, but Ginn was there to put home the rebound.

The win sends North Kitsap on to the state quarterfinals against Liberty, the defending 2A champions and the team that eliminated the Vikings a year ago. The match will likely take place Saturday with the time to be determined.

The Patriots no longer have their star goal scorer, Makenna Carr, who is now playing at the University of Washington, but they are still quite the formidable foe. Liberty has a 14-2-2 record and finished in second place in the tough KingCo 2A/3A League.

“[I’m] super excited. I couldn’t be happier,” Pixton said. “I love this team.”

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.

More in Sports

Ava McCabe is the 2A Olympic League MVP after finishing the season with 344 kills and 53 aces. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Kingston’s Ava McCabe, Klahowya’s Rachel Bailey given league MVP honors

Kingston’s Ava McCabe had a year to remember and she has been… Continue reading

North Kitsap running back Isaiah Kahana is the 2A Olympic League offensive MVP. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Isaiah Kahana, McCoy Retome, Hunter Wallis nab league MVP honors

All-league teams for the Olympic League and South Sound Conference have been announced.

Kate Streck (15) battles for the ball with Deer Park’s Carmen Kiewert during the 1A state tournament third place game. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Klahowya captures third place in 1A state tournament, defeating Deer Park 2-1

Rylee Radford and Kylie Woodrum scored for the Eagles.

Kayden Eckley tries to slip by the Knights defense during her team’s 1A state semifinal game. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Klahowya loses heartbreaker in shootout to King’s Way Christian

The Eagles will play for third place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17

Maddie Pruden signs her letter of intent on Nov. 14 at North Kitsap High School. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap’s Maddie Pruden commits to Seattle Pacific University

POULSBO — This past summer, North Kitsap volleyball coach Tim French knew… Continue reading

Kingston seniors Ethan Fox, Tim Gallagher and Aron Markow have signed their letters of intent to swim at Colorado Mesa University, University of Hawaii and University of Wyoming respectively. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Kingston High swimming stars sign with college teams

KINGSTON — During the early part of the 2010s, the Kingston boys… Continue reading

Chloe Hoepfinger is one of five seniors graduating from the program this season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap exits the postseason with a 2-0 loss to Liberty

The Vikings lost to the same opponent in the same round of the state tournament for the second consecutive year

Kingston takes a timeout during its first match against Columbia River at the 2A state tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Kingston, North Kitsap see their seasons end at the state tournament

North Kitsap went 1-2, Kingston went 0-2 in their state matches

Klahowya quarterback John Hartford now holds the school records for passing yardage (1,809) and touchdowns (19). (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Klahowya finishes the season with loss to Zillah at state

The Eagles finished 7-3 and made the state tournament for the second time in school history

Most Read