In the last few years, Bainbridge girls soccer has struggled against the Central Kitsap Cougars, failing to score for three-straight years.
However, the Spartans battled the Cougars down to the wire with a 1-1 draw to start the season last week.
“This is one of our best results in my six years,” coach Katie Drovdahl said. “We schedule these 3A games so we can get challenged before districts and playoffs.”
The game had a slow tempo early as the first opportunity came from CK nine minutes into the game on a through ball. Both teams had a handful of shots from a distance but provided no threat to the goalies.
With seven minutes remaining, Bainbridge earned a free kick. However, the shot was saved and ended the half scoreless.
In the second half, Bainbridge struck first with a free-kick goal from senior Riley Becker. “Our set pieces feel great,” Drovdahl said. “Riley is a senior but it was the first game on varsity, and she was a game-changer. She looks like she belongs out there.”
Even though the Spartans were nearing victory, they took their foot off the pedal and allowed the Cougars’ Maleia Dayao to tie it up with her left foot. “It’s good to get these mistakes in the preseason,” Drovdahl said. “If you let up for one second, it is all it takes in soccer to be tied 1-1.”
Both teams saw positives, despite the tie. The Cougars can look at how they controlled the possession and set up opportunities while Bainbridge can focus on its intensity and speed of play.
In addition, Drovdahl was excited to see her new players make an impact early. “Sophia Weindl and Riley Butler are juniors, and they bring this intensity, strength and physicality,” Drovdahl said. “They set the tone and controlled the field.”