Cougars survive in OT

"They called it The Survivor Series, and the Olympic High School girls soccer team came within about two minutes of surviving.But Nicole Zygmontowicz' goal in the ninth minute of overtime Thursday night brought the Trojans' regimen of three games in four nights to an unhappy end.We almost made it through the Survivor Series, said Oly coach Steve Haggerty, whose team dropped a 1-0 decision to Zygmontowicz and her Central Kitsap teammates Thursday, after surviving through wins over Bainbridge (3-2 Monday) and Bremerton (4-3 Tuesday). The Trojans settled into third place at 5-2 while the Cougars (6-1) grabbed sole possession of second.Shrugging, Haggerty added, But I guess tonight we got voted off the island.After the two teams bludgeoned away at each other for 88 minutes in a game contested largely in midfield, Zygmontowicz cast the deciding vote with her sixth goal of the season. She ran onto a long through ball that Christine Murray poked through from the midfield, carried it into the right side of the penalty box and tucked her shot neatly inside the far post, out of the reach of a sprawling Olympic goalkeeper, Erin Shafer.They're a dangerous team, because their transition is so quick, said CK coach Lee Yeager, whose team emerged with a slim 9-7 advantage in shots. You have to try and shut them down, and then you have to be patient and hope a chance comes along.Senior Keely Malhiot said both teams placed a higher priority on defense than offense.I know I had to focus on (Oly's Erin) Laird, so I wasn't able to make offensive runs the way I normally would, said Malhiot. I didn't want her to get anything. I think both teams played what way, sacrificing a little offense and concentrating on defense.Haggerty admitted, after his team's third one-goal game of the week, that the Trojan might've been just plain tired.It's not an excuse, because you've got to play the hand you're dealt, said Haggerty. But it's our third game in four days, and it's their first in five. I think in some cases, our legs just weren't where they should be. We didn't have that extra burst when we needed it.Yeager, however, said the scheduling disparity that had the Cougars idle since last Saturday, when they terrorized Class 2A Port Townsend 7-0, might've worked against his team in a way.In our Port Townsend game, the pace was not anywhere near what it was in this game, he said. They've played Bainbridge and Bremerton, two good sides, so they're prepared for the pace of this game. We really talked about having to step it up and be ready.After a first half that was confined to the middle of the field, things opened up for flurries of offensive activity after intermission. CK's Natosha Keogh got open for a point-blank shot in the box that was snuffed out by Shafer, and a few minutes later, Laird got her head to a Chantal Ricard corner kick that forced Kelly Costello to make a smart save.With 5 minutes, 50 seconds to go in regulation, Zygmontowicz' arcing throw-in from the right wing found Sarah Parker in front of an open net at the far post, but her shot sailed high.We had some great opportunities, said Yeager, but I would've liked to have had more.Both coaches, in fact, lamented the lack of attacking play in the game.We've been playing this way all year, Yeager shrugged. We need to break out more.Haggerty added, I was disappointed we weren't able to create a little more offensively.It was pointed out that CK really hadn't had much going, either, as far as offense.Not until the end, Haggerty said with a shrug of his own.Not until he was probably starting to think his team was going to survive. "

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