Sounders make a rare visit to North Kitsap

POULSBO — One young fan couldn’t wait. “Only three minutes to go!” she squealed, staring intently at the North Kitsap High School field only moments before the Seattle Sounders were due. Unfortunately, her enthusiasm bounded over the laws of time and space; the clock revealed three and a half minutes until the professional team from Seattle faced the Seattle Pacific University Falcons. But the girl’s love for soccer wasn’t hushed; in fact, it was encouraged. North Kitsap fans love soccer like snooty Frenchman love cheese, and nowhere was that love more apparent than NKHS Saturday night, where the Sounders and Falcons clashed in an exhibition match that raised money for North Kitsap soccer clubs.

POULSBO — One young fan couldn’t wait.

“Only three minutes to go!” she squealed, staring intently at the North Kitsap High School field only moments before the Seattle Sounders were due.

Unfortunately, her enthusiasm bounded over the laws of time and space; the clock revealed three and a half minutes until the professional team from Seattle faced the Seattle Pacific University Falcons.

But the girl’s love for soccer wasn’t hushed; in fact, it was encouraged. North Kitsap fans love soccer like snooty Frenchman love cheese, and nowhere was that love more apparent than NKHS Saturday night, where the Sounders and Falcons clashed in an exhibition match that raised money for North Kitsap soccer clubs.

When Sounder Leighton O’Brien missed a short pass that would have meant a point-blank shot, the crowd groaned.

When Sounder goalie Carlos Castellanos snagged an SPU throw-in one handed, tapped it for a moment between his palms to control it, then booted it away, the crowd oooohed.

And when Sounder forward Jason Farrell caught up to a ball in midair and headed it towards the SPU goal, only to have the Falcons’ James Ward dive and snag bullet of a shot with his fingertips, the crowd erupted into appreciative applause.

North Kitsap coach Dave O’Brien, who coaches FC Kitsap boys U-18 red, was asked if the community loved soccer.

“You can tell that just by looking at the stands,” he said, glancing over his shoulder, where netheads of all ages sat shoulder-to-shoulder, packing most of the stadium with more than 1,500 fans.

O’Brien had participated in a pregame coaching clinic with the Falcons’ Cliff McCrath — You can tell just by watching the way this guy ran a practice that he was a pro,” O’Brien said.

But the fans at the game didn’t need formal coaching, O’Brien said; they could learn just by watching the superb soccer that unfolded on North Kitsap’s field Saturday night.

“This way, they get to learn soccer without their coach ragging on them,” O’Brien said with a chuckle.

The game went scoreless for the first 20 minutes; then the Sounders’ Kyle Smith scored two first-half goals, both assisted by Leighton O’Brien, to propel the Sounders ahead of their collegiate opponent.

The Sounders ended up the victors by a 5-1 score.

They weren’t the only winners.

For all four years the Sounders have visited North Kitsap, the money has gone toward local soccer clubs. This year was no exception, with half of each $8 ticket going to Washington State Youth Soccer District, 4, which sponsors the exhibition game, and the other half going to the club that sells the tickets.

North Kitsap Soccer Club sold 275 tickets. And if the crowded stadium was any indication, it was a good evening indeed for North Kitsap soccer.

More in Sports

Jonas La Tour of North Kitsap was the league MVP last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

North Kitsap boys basketball; Kingston wrestling

With the strong winds, Viking quarterback Colton Bower (2) was more effective running the ball in the first half. Here Quinn Knivila- Ruchie (52) and Jesus Mares (53) block for him. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Wind, rain, Lions knock NK out of playoffs

It’s hard enough to beat the second-ranked team in the state playoffs… Continue reading

Viking quarterback Colton Bower was named MVP, again, of the Olympic League. File Photo
Bower MVP, again; 11 others also honored

Gee, wonder who the Most Valuable Player is in the Olympic League… Continue reading

Logan Sloman catches a touchdown pass. Nancy Treder/File Photos
NK gridders advance to 2A state semifinals

North Kitsap High School is on its way to the state Class… Continue reading

Maddie Pryde is one of the standouts on the Viking team. File Photo
Anacortes knocks N. Kitsap girls out at state

North Kitsap’s girls volleyball team stunned Washington in three sets Friday in… Continue reading

Colton Bower. File Photo
N. Kitsap hosts state playoff game Saturday

14th seeded Shadle Park will face No. 3 seed Vikings

The North Kitsap boys basketball team celebrates after pulling off an improbable comeback in the semifinals in the 2A state tournament against Lynden. (File photo)
Krulish: A look back at my 4 years in Kitsap

After a little over four years covering high school sports, and occasionally… Continue reading

Colton Bower’s 299-yard, six touchdown performance on Friday night helped him break the North Kitsap record for passing yards in a season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower sets NK passing record in win over Kingston

Colton Bower is one of the last players you’ll ever hear talking… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde tips a shot past two Bainbridge defenders. The Vikings defeated the Spartans on Tuesday night to split their season series and share the top spot in the Olympic League. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK beats BHS to share top spot in Olympic League

The North Kitsap volleyball team never forgot about its first loss of… Continue reading

Review file photo 
The Bainbridge HS girls cross country team, shown here taking off during a league meet at Battle Point Park, took home the Olympic League championship last week.
Spartan girls XC win Olympic League title

The Spartans girls cross country team cooked up the same recipe for… Continue reading

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

Central Kitsap running back Kouper Hall went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season against North Thurston on Friday night. He had 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 61-7 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap’s big win over North Thurston helps push for playoffs

The Central Kitsap High football team had a whole lot of time… Continue reading