In the past five meetings between Central Kitsap and South Kitsap, there was only one outlier.
When the teams meet in high-school boys soccer, one team wins by a goal. And that’s why South coach Eric Bergeson was concerned.
After dominating the opening 10 minutes — forward Brent Ricigliano scored on an assist from Taylor Cryder in the ninth minute — the Wolves watched the Cougars take control.
Drew Blaisdell tied Thursday’s game with a goal in the 28th and it looked like Ivan Gomez might score and give the Cougars that one-goal advantage that’s decided four of the last five meetings between the schools.
But the shot by Gomez hit the inside left crossbar and ricocheted out of bounds to the right.
“I thought once they scored, our response was lackluster,” Bergeson said. “We’re going to use that as a lesson and turn it into a positive, especially with the result.”
The Wolves eventually found a second goal by forward Cory Matthews on an assist Justin Moore in the 55th and added another one in the 62nd by Jordan Thomas to claim a 3-1 Narrows League win.
“I thought once in the second half, once we got the goal, the intensity, the effort and the possession was all South Kitsap,” Bergeson said.
Matthews’ goal was particularly frustrating to Central coach Christopher Floro because his team only had 10 players on the field.
“Our left defender thought he was off,” he said. “He walked off the field and even the assistant ref was telling him, ‘No, no, no, no, you only have 10 men on the field.’ He went off the field when they scored on the header and I’m going, ‘What the heck just happened?’”
Floro said the confusion came from a substitution involving two players. He said that doesn’t mean it was justified, though.
“The two that were going off weren’t left defenders,” he said. “There’s no way he should have gone off.”
South (8-0-2 overall, 6-0-1 league) hasn’t played at home since a 3-1 win against Olympia on March 25, but both coaches said the field condition was poor because of persistent rain the last few weeks.
“Anyone who’s played any sport knows by the 80th minute in this kind of field, you’re dying,” Bergeson said. “If you go out there, you’ll see it’s not even what it looks like from (the sideline). It’s terrible.”
The difference is the Wolves don’t play again until Thursday, when they host North Kitsap at 5 p.m.
Central (3-3-1, 2-2-1) faces a different scenario. The Cougars play at 1 p.m. today against Port Angeles at Silverdale Stadium. Because the officials didn’t show up to their first meeting against Foss, they play at 7 p.m. Monday against the Falcons, return home for a 7:15 p.m. game Tuesday against Olympia and travel to play at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at Gig Harbor.
The Cougars then wrap up the week with a nonleague contest at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at Bremerton, a match Floro wouldn’t mind canceling.
“That’s ideally what I would like to do,” he said. “With the field like this, the legs take a pounding.”
The win kept South in second place behind Bellarmine Prep, which has won all six of its league matches. The Wolves, who now have won five straight meetings against Central, won their first five league matches before spring break last week.
That ended with a 1-1 tie on Tuesday at Stadium.
“The tie was kind of a bummer for us,” Matthews said. “It’s good to get a win after that.”
Stadium took a 1-0 when Max Mackluso scored in the 50th, but the Wolves responded five minutes later with Justin Moore’s eighth goal of the season.
At South Kitsap 3,
Central Kitsap 1
First half-1, South Kitsap, Brent Ricigliano (Taylor Cryder), 9th minute; 2, Central Kitsap, Drew Blaisdell, 28th.
Second half-3, South Kitsap, Cory Matthews (Justin Moore), 55th; 4, South Kitsap, Jordan Thomas, 62nd.
South Kitsap 1,
at Stadium 1
Second half-1, Stadium, Max Mackluso, 50th minute; 2, South Kitsap, Justin Moore, 55th.