South Kitsap forward Maya Foster (8) chases down a loose ball in Tuesday night’s home-opener against Graham-Kapowsin. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap forward Maya Foster (8) chases down a loose ball in Tuesday night’s home-opener against Graham-Kapowsin. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap snags 4-1 victory in home opener

Wolves prevail despite team experiencing COVID shutdown

The start to the season may have been halted by COVID-19, but the South Kitsap girls soccer program is off and running now.

Taking the pitch in front of the home crowd for the first time Tuesday night, the Wolves rolled over Graham-Kapowsin in a 4-1 victory to pick up their first win of the year.

The team had to cease activity during tryouts for about a week and ended up canceling its two early non-league games against Peninsula and Central Kitsap.

“We did have an exposure at the beginning of tryouts,” said assistant coach Ricci Wiedbrecht, who was filling in for head coach Hailey Parker on Tuesday. “On Day 3, we had to shut down and pick up again after a week. But it basically just gave us another week to get ready. The girls really used that time and we’re really strong this season. I’m excited.”

The delay didn’t put a damper on turnout. South Kitsap has three full teams worth of players with 18 on varsity, 18 on junior varsity, and 17 on the C-team.

“We have a great batch of girls this season,” Wiedbrecht said. “We got amazing numbers this season in tryouts regardless of COVID and we’ve been able to field three really strong teams — and tonight we got three wins. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

Although they took a loss against the always-tough Olympia Bears in their season opener, the Wolves rebounded well in their second game. Grace Wiedrgren scored a pair of goals, and Katherine Kent and Maya Foster each hit the scoresheet, as did Graham-Kapowsin.

Autumn DeWitt opened the scoring, putting the Golden Eagles ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute, but South Kitsap reeled off four straight goals from then on out.

In the 22nd minute, Kent scored to tie the match on a shot from 15 yards out. A few minutes later, South Kitsap then gained a permanent advantage for the rest of the game as a Graham-Kapowsin player was given a red card on a hard tackle.

Just before the half, Wiedergren knocked home Ashlyn Nelson’s corner kick to give the Wolves a 2-1 lead.

As the second half wore on, South Kitsap started creating more chances as they wore down a tiring Golden Eagles side. After a few near-misses, Payton Pine broke free down the right sideline and sent a laser cross into the box. Foster finished off the play with a goal to extend South Kitsap’s lead to two.

Wiedergren scored her second goal of the game in the 78th minute by corralling a loose ball and lofting it over the Graham-Kapowsin keeper, who came off her line to play it. The score capped off a solid win over a good Graham-Kapowsin team, which beat Bellarmine Prep in its Monday opener.

The Wolves get back in action Friday in an away match at Bethel. Their next home game is Sept. 30 against Sumner.

South Kitsap 4, Graham-Kapowsin 1

Graham-Kapowsin 10 — 1

South Kitsap 2 2 — 4

First half — GK, Ashley DeWitt, 17th; SK, Katherine Kent (Hailey Deese), 22nd; SK, Grace Widergren (Ashlyn Nelson), 38th.

Second half — SK, Maya Foster (Payton Pine), 72nd; SK, Wiedergren, 78th.

Payton Pine looks to send the ball upfield to a teammate against Graham-Kapowsin. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)
Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group
South Kitsap’s Payton Pine looks to send the ball upfield to a teammate against Graham-Kapowsin.

Payton Pine looks to send the ball upfield to a teammate against Graham-Kapowsin. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group) Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group South Kitsap’s Payton Pine looks to send the ball upfield to a teammate against Graham-Kapowsin.

Juliet Jaeren (7) battles a Graham-Kapowsin player for a free ball. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)
Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group
South Kitsap player Juliet Jaeren (7) battles a Graham-Kapowsin player for a free ball.

Juliet Jaeren (7) battles a Graham-Kapowsin player for a free ball. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group) Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group South Kitsap player Juliet Jaeren (7) battles a Graham-Kapowsin player for a free ball.

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