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

NK's Angel Chavez (8), a junior forward, and Jackson Reeves (12) rush back to defend to keep Clover Park from scoring a breakaway goal. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK wins in soccer, softball

North Kitsap is still alive in the District 2/3 2A boys soccer… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

.
NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading

Cade Orness had 7 assists in the game for third place.
NK boys place 3rd at state

Now that’s more like the Vikings North Kitsap fans know and love.… Continue reading