Cougars fall to Stadium

The Central Kitsap soccer team battled injuries throughout the season and still managed to finish second in the Narrows League Bridge Division.

The good fortune ran out Saturday, though, as the Cougars lost 3-0 to Stadium in Tacoma.

“Stadium is a really good team,” CK coach Charles Frohman said. “They deserved to win.”

CK (8-4-4) trailed 1-0 entering halftime after Raphael Cox scored in the 34th minute to give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage.

Stadium goalie Jordan Jennings didn’t face much of a challenge as the Tigers claimed the Narrows League’s No. 3 seed entering the West Central District Tournament.

It didn’t help that CK was missing goalie Trevor Lange, who doubles as a forward, with a broken foot and forward Francisco Carresquero. The latter decided to focus on preparing for the upcoming tennis playoffs.

“We’re missing our forwards,” Frohman said.

But after watching the Cougars win without a full lineup during the regular season, Frohman expects his team to find a way to win when it faces the No. 4 team from the South Puget Sound League on Saturday at Sumner Stadium.

“It’s tough to recreate the offense at this point in the season, but we’re going to have to find a way to get more offense,” Frohman said.

The Cougars’ performance at the Stadium Bowl left Kyle Stroh, CK’s lone remaining natural forward, disgusted.

“It was pretty bad,” he said. “I don’t think we put a lot of effort into it and we came out pretty flat.”

Stroh acknowledged that not having Carresquero and Lange played into the Cougars’ poor performance.

“It affects us a lot,” he said. “We’re playing people who don’t normally play there and it messed with team chemistry.”

The team needs to emphasize one area in practice this week to help alleviate the problem, according to Stroh.

“I think we’ll definitely have to work on our passing,” he said.

Even though Cameron Valentine and Anthony Owens added goals for the Tigers in the second half, Stroh said he isn’t worried about the CK defense or goalie Trever McKenna.

“I think they put a lot of pressure on (McKenna),” Stroh said. “Not that he wasn’t ready for it.”

There also were other variables involved Saturday — including a heavy rainfall that drenched the turf at the Stadium Bowl.

“It could’ve (been a factor), but it’s hard to say,” Frohman said. “The ball was slipping a lot.

“It also didn’t help to play on their home field.”

Stroh agreed.

“Stadium had a little advantage because it was their home field,” he said.

Because of injuries and the game remaining within reach, Frohman couldn’t accomplish all of his objectives.

“I was going to play more people because it wasn’t a loser-out game,” he said. “Basically, it was just a seeding game.”

The Cougars won’t have that advantage Saturday. The winner will advance to state as the No. 8 seed out of the West Central District, while the loser’s season ends.

Sumner, like Stadium, has an artificial surface. Stroh said he doesn’t know how much that experience will benefit the team, but he believes playing the Tigers helped his team.

“Any team we play over there we’ll learn something,” he said. “All their players are really good.”

Regardless of the result, Frohman said he’s proud of his team.

“It’s still been a good season,” he said. “We have one more game to go and we’ll wait and see how that turns out.”

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