Blake Mason gets congratulated by teammates Dylan Ruth and Brian Yand after scoring in the 62nd minute of the match against Bellarmine Prep. It was the only goal of the game in the South Kitsap victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Blake Mason gets congratulated by teammates Dylan Ruth and Brian Yand after scoring in the 62nd minute of the match against Bellarmine Prep. It was the only goal of the game in the South Kitsap victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Stayin’ alive! Blake Mason’s 62nd minute goal keeps Wolves in the playoff hunt

South Kitsap defeated Bellarmine Prep 1-0 to pick up an important three points

PORT ORCHARD — It’s been a roller coaster season for South Kitsap’s boys soccer team, but here they are again in a familiar position — playing good soccer at the right time of year, giving themselves a chance to make a postseason run.

They haven’t made the big dance yet, but they took care of step one on April 30 at home, getting an important three points in a 1-0 victory over Bellarmine Prep.

Blake Mason scored the match’s only goal in the 62nd minute and the Wolves defended in the final 15 minutes with the passion and desperation necessary to keep their season alive.

“It was a well-deserved win. I thought the boys really deserved to win tonight,” head coach Cory Vartanian said.

With one league game to go, the team is now in control of its own destiny, thanks to some favorable results from Tuesday’s matches.

Rogers tied Emerald Ridge and Puyallup beat Olympia in regulation, putting South Kitsap in a three-way tie with Rogers and Curtis for the final three playoff spots. However, Olympia and Bellarmine trail the three-team pack by only one and two points, respectively.

So the mission on Friday at Rogers is simple — pick up three points and punch a ticket to the district tournament for the fourth consecutive season. With any other result, they could still get in — but they may need some help.

It was Senior Night at Kitsap Bank Stadium and those playing in perhaps their last home game were certainly a part of the winning effort.

It was senior defender Christion Lopez who made a great hustle play to keep a ball alive on the sideline and then sent it down the field. The ball eventually reached Mason, who dribbled down the right side and was able to tuck the ball into the corner of the net to break the deadlock.

“It was a great finish and a well set-up play,” Vartanian said. “Blake did a good job staying with it and finishing it off.”

Goalkeeper Hunter Million, who split the clean sheet with senior Ben Riehl, was tested several times over the game’s final minutes — and he was up to the task. A volley into the box in the 65th minute bounced around and Million had to tap it like a juggler several different times before eventually bringing it to safety.

On a Bellarmine corner in the 72nd minute, Million managed to get a piece of a header destined for the net and sent it onto the crossbar.

The Lions continued to pour on the pressure, but their efforts were to no avail. The final whistle sounded and the Wolves had the three points they desperately needed.

“Every year, the second game we play against Bellarmine always seems to be a deciding match,” Vartanian said. “And it was a classic physical Bellarmine-South game.”

The regular season finale is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at Rogers High School.

Blake Mason gets congratulated by teammates Dylan Ruth and Brian Yand after scoring in the 62nd minute of the match against Bellarmine Prep. It was the only goal of the game in the South Kitsap victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Blake Mason gets congratulated by teammates Dylan Ruth and Brian Yand after scoring in the 62nd minute of the match against Bellarmine Prep. It was the only goal of the game in the South Kitsap victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Eduardo De La Cruz tries to slip a ball past a Lions defender. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Eduardo De La Cruz tries to slip a ball past a Lions defender. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Eduardo De La Cruz tries to slip a ball past a Lions defender. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Eduardo De La Cruz tries to slip a ball past a Lions defender. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

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