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Troy takes a hit
"When the Central Kitsap High School boys soccer team fell behind 1-0 midway through the second half of Tuesday night's hotly contested game with Olympic, the Cougars didn't get mad. They already were mad.CK did, however, get even. Dan Dickinson's needle-threading shot leveled the score with eight minutes left and the two teams fought through 10 scoreless overtime minutes before settling for a 1-all tie.The result in the rough-and-tumble rivalry game left CK undefeated going into Thursday night's road clash at Bremerton. It also kept Oly from advancing any closer to either the league lead held by the Cougs or the No. 2 Class 4A position occupied by Port Angeles.While there were only two goals, the game was rife with near-misses. Oly's John Hoogestraat and Joel Nelson each hit the goalpost with first-half shots, and Dickinson's goal capped a Cougar flurry which saw Keith Cain denied by the post and a shot by Brandon Screen blocked off the goal line by Andrew Nelson.There were some close calls, said Cougar coach Jason Visintainer, whose team suffered the first smudge on its record after six straight victories to start the season. Credit Olympic, I thought they dominated the first half. But we reversed that a little in the second half.Indeed, Central created its best chances after Brian Meherg's goal in the 61st minute dropped it into a deficit.We definitely responded to the fact that we needed to generate some results, Visintainer said. Congratulations to our team - they did an outstanding job tonight when they had to.The game, unfortunately, had more of the trappings of a rivalry contest than just close calls and close marking. Tempers and elbows flared throughout, and the referee produced five yellow caution cards before the 90 minutes had wound itself to a conclusion.There's a lot of pride factor out there when these two teams meet, said Olympic coach Steve Haggerty. These kids all grew up together, and they've been playing against each other for a long time.Haggerty, whose team is scrambling for what has been an annual postseason berth, said the deadlocked final hurt his team much more than it did the Cougars.A tie doesn't do us any good, he lamented. It took two points away from us. We want to go to the playoffs as the top seed, and now it's just going to be that much more difficult.It's bad luck on our part that we let them get out to a two-game advantage on us in the first place.Oly created two good scoring opportunities in the first half, Hoogestraat and Nelson both getting shots past goalkeeper Casey Sullivan, but not the right post. Meherg also missed high with a free kick from the top of the box.The Trojans finally got their goal when Meherg sorted through the wreckage in front of the box after a corner kick, found the ball and more or less bludgeoned it between Sullivan and a defender.CK countered with a surge that produced four viable shots, finishing with Dickinson's lazer from nearly a right angle on the right side of the penalty area, which found its way just inside the far post for the equalizer.I don't know how that shot got into the goal, but it did, Haggerty marveled.The Cougars kept the momentum in the overtime, even though Oly's Joel Nelson managed a scary solo run in the early going. CK outshot Troy 4-1 in the extra session, building their advantage in that department to 19-9 for the game.Sullivan didn't have to make many saves, Haggerty said, but he did a nice job controlling things back there. And the times we did beat him, we hit the post.Visintainer also credited the play of Sullivan and sweeper Willie Whitwell on defense. The Cougs benefitted throughout from the strong work of John Anderson in midfield and Keith Cain on the right wing.It was huge, Visintainer said of salvaging the tie. It's nice to maintain our lead. "