Sports

Trojans, Haggerty extend winning streak against Eagles, Oelschlager

Steve Haggerty (left) jokes with KSS coach Troy Oeschlager before Tuesday’s game. Olympic won 1-0. - Wesley Remmer/staff photo
Steve Haggerty (left) jokes with KSS coach Troy Oeschlager before Tuesday’s game. Olympic won 1-0.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

Klahowya girls soccer coach Troy Oelschlager has checked every box on his to-do list since he took the job in 1997.

Except one: beat Steve Haggerty.

Not only is Haggerty the coach of crosstown rival 3A Olympic, where he’s been since 1981, but he coached then-Trojan Oeschlager from 1985-88. Oelschlager even spent a few years on Olympic’s coaching staff, as an assistant to Haggerty, before landing the KSS job.

Haggerty’s had Oelschlager’s number ever since.

“It’s the one game we haven’t won, against Olympic, in all the years I’ve been doing this,” Oelschlager said.

And the trend continued Tuesday, with Haggerty’s Trojans earning a hard-fought 1-0 victory against the Eagles at Silverdale Stadium.

The game’s lone goal came in the 32nd-minute after Anndrea O’Leary found senior forward Allie Brown, who bounced a shot off the left post and past KSS keeper Kazandra Holiday.

“It wasn’t really anything pretty, we just maintained possession in the offensive third,” Haggerty said of the goal. “(But) anytime you score one more goal than the opposition, it’s a positive.”

Klahowya had a few opportunities to tie the score early, but couldn’t convert.

Oly then clamped down in the second half to contain the Eagles’ fastest player and top scoring threat, forward Rebekka Schell.

“She never really got going. We never got her the ball in space like we try to do with her, with her speed,” Oelschlager said of Schell. “The second half, we didn’t do anything offensively.”

While Oelschlager said his team lost confidence in the second half thanks to Oly’s aggressive play, the KSS-Oly match-up appeared to be evenly matched.

“I think this is one of our closer games against them,” Oeschlager said.

Olympic’s one-goal effort on Tuesday was nothing new — it was the third consecutive game the team scored just once — and Haggerty believes his team needs to capitalize on scoring opportunities and produce more goals, especially when postseason play begins.

“We’ve generated a lot of attack, but as far finishing them in that offensive third, we’ve had difficulty. If we create attacks we have to finish them,” he said. “In order to be competitive, we need to be a lot better.”

Despite the inefficiency on offense, Haggerty was pleased with the victory and the resiliency of his defense.

“It’s a good (win) to have,” he said. “Our defense held fast. I’m pleased with the result, but I still think we’re capable of playng better.”

Klahowya (6-3-1, 5-3-0), meanwhile, is even further behind North Mason (8-0-1, 6-0-0) for the top 2A spot in the Olympic League, but remains in position for a postseason berth.

“As long as we win the games against the 2A’s we’ll be fine,” Oelschlager said. “It’s going to be a tough battle.”

The sideline gamesmanship between Haggerty and Oelschlager was pretty tame — after all, they’ve squared off about 10 times — but it’s no lie that Oelschlager wants to beat his former coach.

“It’s always fun to have some camaraderie on the sidelines and to know a fellow coach,” said Oelschlager, who does hold an edge over Haggerty in one state: number of state titles.

Klahowya won the 2A state title in 1999 three years after Oelschlager stepped in, an achievement Haggerty has yet to accomplish in nearly 30 years at Oly.

“I’m a little envious in the fact that my goal, since I stepped on the field here in 1981 at Olympic High School, is to win a state championship,” Haggerty said. “I’m still pursuing that goal, where Troy has already got one. Troy has built a heck of a program here.”

Win or lose, the coaches share a unique relationship that dates back two decades and will continue on and around the soccer field.

“Troy was a good player. He scored quite a few goals in his day. He had the best left-footed shot I’ve seen,” Haggerty said, grinning.

The Eagles dropped another 1-0 game Thursday against 3A North Kitsap after NK scored on a later corner kick. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier, with KSS’ next game on the road Oct. 16 against undefeated North Mason.

Olympic breezed past Port Townsend Thursday en route to a 3-0 win. O’Leary had two assists, while Audrey Pond, Haley Pepper and Brielle Kadrmas each scored.

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