Sports

Eagles have too much Crisman for Knights

"Lance McCoy had answers to the questions about why his Bremerton High School girls soccer team lost 4-2 to Klahowya Tuesday at cloudy Silverdale Stadium.On the subject of Eagles junior striker Hilary Crisman, however, McCoy had nothing to offer.I don't know how to stop her, McCoy shrugged after Crisman scored all four of the Eagles' goals, two on solo runs up the middle and two on perfectly placed free kicks. You mark her, you double-mark her, and she still finds ways to score. She's an amazing player.Crisman, who averaged 25 goals a season in her first two Klahoywa campaigns, recorded her fourth hat trick (three goals in a game) 14 minutes after halftime, skidding a low free kick right through the Knights' defensive wall. He had a league-best 19 goals headed into Thursday night's round of games, in which the Eagles were idle.Then, after Alisha White erupted for two late Bremerton goals to make the final minutes interesting indeed, she bent another free kick into the upper left corner from 35 yards away to squelch the Knights one last time.Teams think putting two people on Hilary is enough, but it's not, said Klahowya coach Troy Oelschlager, whose team's rise to state Class 2A prominence - including last year's championship - has been keyed by the speedy, artful striker. You need to take away her space. If she gets in front of you, you're not going to catch her.Space, for Crisman and her short-handed Eagle teammates, seemed abundant through much of the contest as Bremerton players struggled with the fast, slippery artificial surface at Silverdale. Despite suiting up just 13 players, Klahowya won control of the midfield early and was able to create a number of solid scoring opportunities.Crisman, in fact, converted the Eagles' first shot of the game, 8 minutes and 45 seconds in. A through ball from sophomore Melissa Emel was blocked by a defender, but Crisman still was able to lope onto it in open space and find and open path to the goal. She fired from 16 yards out, leaving Bremerton goalie Laura Johnson no chance at the save.Emel again set up Crisman in the 29th minute on a play started by Kasey Cowdin's nifty defensive work to steal a ball on the right wing. The end result was another run up the middle by Crisman, who tucked her shot into the side netting behind the far post.McCoy agreed that his team's lack of familiarity with the Silverdale carpet was a factor in the Knights' loss. There were other things, he added, that were even more damaging.We just didn't play with much passion tonight, he said, shaking his head. We had trouble with this surface, which I think is the worst surface in the league. But mostly, we just didn't come ready to play.You have to tip your hat to Klahowya, he added. They play hard, they're supporting Hilary better than they ever have, and she's become a much more complete forward.From somewhere, the Knights seemed to find some resolve in the final five minutes, when White struck like two bolts of lightning through the pelting rain. When she stole an errant Klahowya pass, dribbled in and scored her second goal in a two-minute span, Bremerton suddenly was in position to force an overtime with the Eagles, who had been lulled by their own dominance through most of the contest.Alisha's a pretty exciting player, McCoy said. She caught fire a little bit there, and almost brought us back.Any hopes of completing the comeback, however, were knocked away by the right foot of Crisman, who struck her long free kick from the left wing and curved it through within inches of both the near post and the crossbar. "

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