Sports

What an experience: Cougars go 5-0

"Experience is a turncoat.Last year, it worked against the Central Kitsap High School boys soccer team. This year, it wears Cougar colors.It's important to remember that we've typically been one of the (Olympic League's) youngest teams, CK coach Jason Visintainer said after last Friday night's 3-0 victory over Bainbridge at Silverdale Stadium. We were young last year. This year, the team has a year of experience and maturity, and it's showing out on the field.In 2000, the Cougars won five games in Olympic League play. In 2001, they're 5-0.Keith Cain, Brandon Screen and Chris Buhrman each scored goals and senior Casey Sullivan notched his fourth shutout in five starts as Central blanked the Spartans. The game was the nightcap of a Silverdale twin bill that was remarkable almost as much for who wasn't there as who was.Olympic beat Sequim 3-0 in the opener despite missing a half dozen players who were in San Diego playing with their FC Kitsap Arsenal Premier team in a tournament. Both CK and Bainbridge also were without key players, for the same reason.It was really disruptive for us, BI coach Alex von Reis Crooks said of the absences - which included his own son, forward Mitka. We don't have the depth to make up for something like that.The Cougars, apparently, do have the depth. Cain's goal, in just the second minute of play, gave them the early momentum, and they spent the rest of the match breaking the Spartans down.The defense, anchored by Sullivan and sweeper Willie Whitwell, denied Bainbridge any serious chances. At the other end, the Cougars - known less in recent years for their ability to put the ball in the net than for their success keeping opponents out of it - converted three of their 13 shots, starting with the first attack of the game.We have good balance. We appear to be working very well together right now, said Visintainer of his team, which compensated well for the absence of three Arsenal players, including starters Nick Vanbeucken and Broc Gaboriault. We also have more depth than in the past, which we're enjoying every minute of.A lot of our kids are very good teammates, Visintainer said. Their strength is that they work well with other people.The Cougars had a little extra impetus for Friday's game, since Visintainer figured it had been it least five or six years since they'd beaten a Bainbridge side.We just concentrated on playing well, he said, and we felt confident that the game would take care of itself.This game wasted little time to start taking care of itself, as far as the Cougs were concerned. Cain picked up a loose ball in the box and hit a sliding shot that got past Spartan goalkeeper Richard Scheiflinger just 1 minute, 25 seconds from the start.The early advantage allowed CK to play a relaxed style and work on controlling the midfield. Their success was evidenced by the second goal, which came six minutes after halftime. Chris Crissman's long through ball found Brandon Screen open for a solo run, which ended with a looping shot from between two closing defenders that got over Scheiflinger and under the crossbar.Buhrman sealed the win 10 minutes later, tucking a shot under the bar after collecting Brandon Rust's feed from the left wing. By that time, the Cougars were working with a great deal of open space in the Spartans' half of the field. "

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