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Offense comes alive as Cougs rip PA
The flood gates, with any luck, are open.Central Kitsap, a soccer team that had been having as much trouble scoring goals this season as ABC has had producing hit TV shows, came alive offensively Tuesday night. The Cougars got their first goal less than six minutes into the contest and led the rest of the way to a 3-1 victory over a powerful Port Angeles side at Silverdale Stadium.Lyndsey Schiffman punched in the rebound of Amy Demerick's shot off the crossbar at the 5-minute, 45-second mark, giving the Cougars the lead - and the confidence - they were able to maintain the rest of the way.It changed everything, first-year CK coach Vicky Webb said of the early goal. It gave them the confidence they had been lacking. It showed them they were capable (of scoring goals).Nicole Zygmontowicz took the message to heart, giving the Cougs a short-lived 2-0 lead shortly before halftime. And Demerick, a whirlwind throughout, got a goal of her own to sew things up at 73:13, shortly before she was forced to leave the game with facial injuries suffered in a violent collision with Roughriders goalkeeper Julia Cheney.Amy and Devon McGill (who fed Zygmontowicz for CK's second goal) both played real strong, Webb said. They gave us a real lift on the outside.As good, and as comforting, as the offensive performance was, the defense was even better. The Cougs all but shut down Port Angeles' big three of Mandy Wood, Lindsay Sather and Liz Money.All but. It took Wood just a few seconds, between CK's second goal and the halftime whistle, to get one back, running into the right side of the box to collect Cass Hoff's near-post corner kick and tucking a shot under Kathryn Harada.The rest of the time, though, Central Kitsap's defense was up to the formidable task of keeping the Roughriders' volatile veterans in their hip pockets. Back-liners Lauren Sato, Brittany Healy-Tuke and freshman Kate Robinson all loomed large in the victory, even though none of their names appeared in the scoring summary.Everybody played hard, everybody went to every ball, Webb said. I think getting that early goal just helped us to open up and play with confidence.The Cougars, she admitted, were on their heels a bit coming into the game following a tough early-season menu of games that had been won or lost by a single goal.Lee (Yeager, Webb's predecessor at the CK helm) set up a tough schedule, Webb said. We were having trouble scoring goals, but I think it had a lot to do with the quality of teams we were playing. We were getting a little frustrated, but in the long run it's going to make us tougher.We're not going to be intimidated by anybody, that's for sure.Getting off the goal-scoring schneid appeared to help, too. Despite yielding slightly to the Roughriders in possession, the Cougs were patient in their buildups and created credible scoring opportunities. Three goals from eight shots on goal is better-than-average efficiency.Schiffman's crucial early goal was a classic piece of opportunism. Demerick smoked a free kick from the edge of the box over Cheney which bounced right to the sophomore's feet just left of the penalty spot. She struck it first time, leaving Cheney no chance to react.Money hit the other crossbar about a half hour into the contest with a screamer from 20 yards out. The Cougars headed the other way and scored less than five minutes later, Zgymontowicz heaving one of her trademark two-time-zone throw-ins from the left wing, then running to the near post to accept McGill's clever feed.The two-goal lead stood up less than three minutes later, as Hoff skidded a low corner kick across the goal mouth which eluded Harada and found its way onto Wood's left foot.