EAST BREMERTON — In a must-win game, the Oly-Pen Force women’s team was firing on all cylinders, blitzing Black Hills FC to the tune of eight goals in an 8-0 win on June 23 that keeps them alive for a playoff spot in the Northwest Premier League.
A pair of locals were at the heart of the offensive outburst — former Klahowya star Isabelle Severns recorded two goals and three assists and South Kitsap graduate Hailey Parker scored a hat trick. They, along with another South Kitsap grad, Emily Wilkins, were unstoppable upfront.
The trio haven’t had much time together on the field this season, but they have been able to find chemistry quickly in the hopes of getting the Force to the postseason.
“[Hailey] graduated in May, I graduated in June and I just got back from college a week ago,” Severns said after the game. “So us three up top — me, Emily and Hailey — we’ve only had a week to practice and play together. It can be difficult, but we’re all competitive and we all really want it.”
Severns scored the first two goals of the game, knocking home a cross from Abigal Nordquist in the third minute. She scored again in the 20th minute off a pass from Jessica Haga.
That might have been enough with the way the Force were controlling the ball, but the goals kept coming as the players kept finding ways to break down the Black Hills defense.
“We’re all pretty competitive, so we wanted to knock some in,” Severns said.
In the 24th minute, a long ball sent Severns away down the left sideline and she laid up a pass for Parker who had plenty of room for a clean strike to make it 3-0. Four minutes later, a Severns cross went over the head of Wilkins, but Parker was trailing the play and walked right into a shot to give the Force a 4-0 halftime lead.
“The win today was needed, 100 percent,” said keeper Ricci Wiedbrecht, a former South Kitsap Wolf who picked up her NWPL-record seventh clean sheet.
Another former Klahowya Eagle, Emily Peters, set up the fifth goal on a nice cross from the left side. Miranda Hoidal had to take a couple whacks at it, but eventually got it through the defense and the keeper.
Nordquist picked up a goal in the 67th minute and then Parker completed her hat trick with a strike off the left post in the 82nd minute. Wilkins scored the final goal of the game in the 89th minute.
Six teams qualify for the NWPL playoffs and four have already been clinched, so the Force will likely need three points from their final game. That match takes place on the road in Centralia next Sunday, June 30 at Tiger Stadium. It should be a highly-competitive game as the Force take on Twin City Union, another team fighting for one of the final two playoff spots.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.