South Kitsap’s Logan Anchick battles for a loose ball against a Kent-Meridian defender. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap’s Logan Anchick battles for a loose ball against a Kent-Meridian defender. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap out-maneuvered by Kent-Meridian in district opener

AUBURN — Another magical run just wasn’t in the cards for the Wolves’ boys soccer team this season.

They were hoping to take the same path to the 4A state tournament as a year ago when they knocked 10th-ranked NPSL team Decatur and the No. 2 NSPL team, Federal Way, on their way to hosting a first-round state game.

But Kent-Meridian was nearly perfect defensively and was able to take advantage of one crack in the South Kitsap backline to pick up a narrow 1-0 victory in the first round of the 4A West Central/Southwest boys soccer bi-district tournament. The loss ends the Wolves’ season.

“They played well, they deserved that second-half goal,” head coach Cory Vartanian said. “We had one defensive breakdown and they capitalized on it.”

South Kitsap wasn’t without its own opportunities. Logan Anchick was able to connect with Blake Mason, who was positioned on the back side of the play in the 19th minute, but the keeper rushed out to cut the angle and the ball was ultimately cleared away for a corner.

The Wolves nearly got the opening goal late in the first half when an Eduardo De La Cruz free kick from about 30 yards skipped into the box and was deflected up into the crossbar. None of the ensuing South Kitsap players could corral the ball and it was cleared away.

A 62nd-minute Dylan Ruth free kick looked like it could be the breakthrough as Anchick got a head on it and sent it toward the goal for De La Cruz, who headed the ball just over the net.

The Wolves remained ready to counter throughout the second half on any Kent-Meridian mistake, but the NPSL squad was sure and true with every pass and was able to keep possession, limiting South Kitsap’s time on the attack and locking down the victory.

The Royals went ahead in the 50th minute, slipping a pass down the left side for Santiago Murillo-Londono, who took the ball at full speed and was able to open up space for a strong shot placed well inside the far post.

“It was that kind of game where they just took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself,” Vartanian said.

More in Sports

Good beginner hikes in Central Kitsap

Clear Creek Trail and Illahee Forest Preserve are both just under three miles roundtrip

Clam Island Rowing to host sixth annual Bill Richards Memorial Regatta Saturday

Event will take place 8 a.m. in Dyes Inlet at Silverdale Waterfront Park

MLB photo
                                Aaron Sele
Kitsap remembers Sele and Bloomquist, but others shone in ‘The Bigs’

I read with delight last week about former South Kitsap pitcher Lucas… Continue reading

Kingston graduate Tim Gallagher has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Time Trials in June. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Kingston’s Tim Gallagher will swim at U.S. Olympic Time Trials in June

Kitsap County is accustomed to being represented on the USA swim team… Continue reading

<em>Kingston gradute Tim Gallagher qualified for the U.S. Olympic Time Trials next June after his performance at the Phillips 66 National Championships. </em>Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
Kitsap swimmers thrive at national and regional events

Some of our area’s best swimmers have been keeping busy this summer… Continue reading

Former SK hurler Lucas Knowles promoted to Short Season Class A

Former South Kitsap pitcher Lucas Knowles is on the move, making the… Continue reading

Kitsap athletes represent at USATF Nationals

SACRAMENTO — Several Kitsap athletes took part in the USA Track and… Continue reading

Mitchell Balmer gets taken down going for a loose ball against Spokane Shadow. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Oly-Pen Force settle for 2-2 draw in regular season finale

EAST BREMERTON — The Oly-Pen Force nearly escaped their regular season finale… Continue reading

Ricci Wiedbrecht took more than a decade off from competitive soccer before returning to action in 2017 with the Olympic Force, now known as the Oly-Pen Force. 
                                Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group
Ricci Wiedbrecht made a long journey back to competitive soccer

EAST BREMERTON — After more than a decade away from the pitch,… Continue reading

Kitsap Cornhole Classic

Port Orchard to host finals on July 27

Local teams mix it up in summer hoops action

PORT ORCHARD — School may be out, but students are still hanging… Continue reading

Cache Holmes carries the ball for North Kitsap at a recent scrimmage against Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Cache Holmes looks to continue linebacker legacy at North Kitsap

POULSBO — Cache Holmes knows well the names of those who came… Continue reading