CK’s defense stymies Oly 3-0

Tuesday’s “Battle of Bucklin Hill” between the Central Kitsap and Olympic girls soccer teams proved to be a useful barometer for each team’s early prospects in Narrows League Bridge Division competition.

“Central Kitsap outplayed us,” said Olympic head coach Steve Haggerty, “and the result tells the difference between the two teams.”

To Haggerty, it says the Trojans (3-2-0 overall, 1-2-0 league, 3 points) need to toughen up on defense if they’re going to battle successfully for the league’s forth and final seed to November’s West Central District tournament with North Kitsap and Port Angeles.

“CK went to the ball a little harder than we did, and we had trouble marking their runs,” Haggerty said.

To Central Kitsap coach Vicky Webb, the 3-0 win means the Cougars (3-1-1 overall, 2-1-0 league, 6 points) should stay competitive with Gig Harbor and South Kitsap for the division title. The other two teams each have seven points.

“We liked playing South Kitsap first this season, because it forced us to play at our best, and we played at our best (Tuesday afternoon),” Webb said. “We played awesome defense. Olympic plays fast and hard, and that’s the kind of game we always expect from them, but offensively we controlled the ball as well.”

The analysis was borne out on the field, as the Cougars kept the ball pinned in the Trojan backfield for the majority of the Silverdale Stadium contest.

Freshman Brandi Hamre drew first blood, taking a pass from senior Kate Boyd and drilling a close-range shot off Olympic keeper Pepper Fanua’s hands less than 14 minutes into the contest. Junior Alissa Russell added an insurance score 15 minutes later, lining a left cross on an assist from senior Caitlin Verhofstadt. And junior Bethany Daniel iced the decision with a short header on a pass from Verhofstadt with less than three minutes to play.

But the members of the Cougar defensive backfield were the game’s true stars.

Webb singled out junior defender Carlye Rice, who led the shutdown of the Trojans’ fastest players, midfielder Shannon White and forward Elizabeth Curry. She, along with fellow defenders Kate Robinson, Chanel Williams and Hayley Bearbower, and midfielder Kaitlin Poppe — as well as senior keeper Emily Zygmontowicz, an all-league pick last season — have helped CK to three shutouts and just two goals allowed in five contests.

And they got the latest blanking without junior Erin Treacy, who is nursing an injured knee and may miss a few more games.

The Trojans, whose best of a handful of scoring opportunities came in the game’s 70th minute, when a short nudge shot by senior Amy Patawaran struck the right CK goalpost and bounced away, have been banged up as well. Senior midfielder Jessica White is bothered by a knee injury, and fellow senior middie Kristin Laird has a wounded knee as well — one that’s sidelined her for the last two weeks and might for a while longer, pending the results of an MRI late this week.

“We had our opportunities,” Haggerty said, “but we didn’t have our consistent attack.”

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