Sports

Physical Tides bowl over CK

Just when the Central Kitsap High School girls soccer team should have been starting to cement its status as one of the Narrows League Bridge Division’s four tournament teams — and maybe even move up a notch in the standings — along came Tuesday night.

Along came the Gig Harbor Tides.

Along came one the Cougars would like to forget.

Gig Harbor, battling with South Kitsap for the Bridge’s top rung, broke the Cougars down, and beat them up a little in the bargain, for a 3-0 road victory at Silverdale Stadium.

Despite the loss, in which the Tides scored all three of their goals after the halftime break, CK still clutched fourth place in the Bridge going into Thursday’s trip to Port Angeles. But their 3-4-1 record left things more than a little on the tenuous side, with just four division games remaining to play.

“We were just missing things (offensively) by a little tonight,” said Vicky Webb, the Cougars’ first-year coach. “We weren’t that far away from making some things happen.”

But the Cougs never really clicked. They started strong, creating several early chances, but then seemed to wind down along with the game clock.

One reason the timing might’ve been off was the elbows-up, forearms-out style the Tides employed. Webb admitted it might’ve been hard for her players to string passes together when they were wondering where the next jolt was coming from.

“We were getting beaten up,” she shrugged. “We didn’t back off, but I do think it affected us.

“They’re a very physical team. But they’re also very skilled,” Webb continued of the Tides (6-1-1 prior to Thursday’s home game against winless Bremerton). “There’s not a weak player on that team. They pass and communicate very well.”

With their combination of ball skills and forearms between the shoulder blades, one could almost see the Tides wrest the run of play away from CK. By the time the Tides finally notched the game’s first goal, four and a half minutes into the second half, they had a definite edge. Lisa Meyers collected a through ball on the right side of the penalty box and smacked a shot across the goalmouth that second-half CK goalkeeper Kathryn Harada got her hands on, but couldn’t push wide of the far post for the 1-0 lead.

That was all the scoring Gig really needed. But they salted the win away with 14:22 left when a cross from the right wing got over Harada’s head for Malorie Cowling to redirect into an open net. A goal by Heidi Brown in the closing minutes completed the scoring, not to mention the Cougars’ frustration.

“The goals they got were not excellent goals,” Webb said. “They could’ve been prevented.”

So could the second-half deficit. If CK could’ve converted one of its first-half chances, the second 40 minutes might’ve been a different story.

“We had our opportunities,” Webb said. “We were just a little off. We’d come up and not pass at quite the right time. We were a little early, and then we were a little late.”

Freshman Emily Zygmontowicz played a scoreless first half in goal for CK, while senior Karen Clegg picked up the shutout win for the Tides.

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