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Girls soccer playoffs in full swing
The Jack-O-Lantern flames are snuffed, but girls soccer playoffs are fully ignited. Klahowya, Olympic and Central Kitsap are all in the midst of postseason play, having traveled different paths to where they are now. With the regular season officially in the books, here’s a look at what each team will face — and has faced — in playoff action.
Klahowya has quietly positioned itself for a nice playoff run. With two wins this week — 3-0 against Kingston and 2-1 against Port Townsend — to close out the regular season, KSS has momentum going into district play.
Against Kingston Monday, Jordan Dixon scored on a header in the 37th minute to give KSS a 1-0 lead at halftime, a lead it never surrendered. The Lady Eagles maintained the offensive attack in the second half, converting two more goals to secure an easy win.
“We’re playing pretty well, we’re moving the ball pretty well,” coach Troy Oelschlager said following the Kingston win. “Tonight we finished (shots) a lot better than we have in the past.”
And the team did just enough Wednesday to hold off Port Townsend 2-1 (4-6-2 overall, 3-6-2 league) on the road. Jordan Dixon scored the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute.
The win bumped the Lady Eagles’ record to 9-5-1 overall and 8-4-0 in league play. Now, Klahowya looks ahead to districts and a rematch with Steilacoom, a team it tied 1-1 during the regular season.
“They’ve got some speed in the back, but we’ll be prepared for them,” Oelschlager said.
If KSS wins against Steilacoom, they would advance to state, most likely as a No. 3 seed.
Crosstown rivals Bremerton and Olympic are buddy-buddy on the pitch — for now, anyway.
The Lady Trojans leapfrogged North Kitsap to move into first place and become the 3A regular season champions of the 2A/3A Olympic League thanks to BHS’ 0-0 draw against NK Tuesday.
A week after beating BHS 1-0 in the waning moments of a back-and-forth game, Olympic coach Steve Haggerty predicted — and hoped — Bremerton would give NK a game.
“I think they might be able to eek out a tie,” Haggerty said of BHS following his team’s 7-0 win against Port Angeles. “All they need is a positive result.”
The PA pounding, coupled with Bremerton’s somewhat surprising draw against NK, means the Lady Trojans host Capital in a sub-district playoff game at 7 p.m. Tuesday and automatically advance to districts. Tuesday’s game is to determine seeding for the district playoffs.
“I think we are in pretty good shape,” Haggerty said.
The PA game was never in doubt, as Oly scored twice in the first 12 minutes. Audrey Pond scored the game’s first goal in the 6th minute to put the Lady Trojans ahead 1-0. Mariah Gallegos then scored unassisted in the 12th minute to make it 2-0. A third score by Ali Brown, assisted by Pond in the 24th minute, bumped the score to 3-0 before halftime.
“Offensive explosion,” Haggerty said of his team’s performance.
The explosion expanded in the second half with Nina Maas, Brielle Kadrmas, Jalyn Halstead and Pond each tallying goals.
But Haggerty said Halstead’s goal, in the 73rd minute, was particularly impressive. Monica Lopez had just substituted into the game and crossed a pass into Halstead, who one-times past the goalkeeper.
“That was our best goal of the year right there,” Haggerty said. “Perfect stuff, that’s the kind of stuff we love to see.”
Haggerty made certain his team didn’t look ahead to the potential one-game playoff with NK. The persistence paid off.
“Port Angeles has been struggling, they haven’t won a lot of games,” Haggerty said. “It’s easy to overlook teams like that. I wanted our kids to stay focused, and we talked about that before the game.”
If Oly is to make a deep postseason run, it will need to play like it did Tuesday, sharing the ball and finishing shots. While the team has generated arguably more offensive attack than any team in the league, it hasn’t always capitalized.
“Offensively, we really moved the ball well,” Pond said. “We had a lot of good switches in the back, which opened up the field so we could move (the ball) up.”
And effective passing stems from communication, something the Lady Trojans continue to work on.
“We just worked together, we connected on a lot of passes this game,” Pond said. “It feels really good.”
(BOLD) Central Kitsap: Mixed results in early postseason action
Central Kitsap hadn’t played Olympia on the road in nearly two years before Wednesday’s sub-district playoff game.
The Lady Cougars might not want to go back or they may be hungry for an immediate return, because Olympia escaped with a 1-0 win in a game coach Vicky Webb said was her team’s best all season.
“We played our very best game of the season, we just didn’t get the result we would have liked,” Webb said Friday. “I really believe it was our best game of the year.”
Olympia scored in the 7th minute on a fluky goal which slipped past CK’s goalie and clung to the slim lead the rest of the game.
“That was not a good goal,” Webb said of the difference-maker.
Webb said CK pressured Olympia’s defense all night but simply couldn’t convert as multiple shots off the crossbar and a few nice saves kept the Lady Cougars off the scoreboard.
“We had our opportunities, especially in the second half,” Webb said.
Wednesday’s game was a rematch of a regular season game in which the teams tied 1-1.
“They made no bones about it that they were disappointed (in tying us),” Webb said.
But an easy 6-1 victory against Lincoln the night before means CK is 1-1 in the Narrows League tournament and yet to be eliminated. The team faces Wilson at Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma today and if it wins, squares off, most likely, against Gig Harbor on Monday.
Win both and the Lady Cougars move on to districts as a No. 5 seed.
“We hold our own destiny,” Webb said. “We’ll take it one game at a time.”
While the win against winless Lincoln game was never in jeopardy, Webb was disappointed in her team’s first-half performance.
“First half was pretty disappointing,” Webb said. “We have a tendency to play at the level of our competition, which was not a good thing.”
But CK fired away in the second half, sharing the ball en route to four goals.
“When we play smart, we are very, very good,” Webb said. “That’s what happened in the second half.”
Regardless of how the playoffs unfold, Webb is proud of her team and impressed, particularly, with its performance on the road against Olympia.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls, we have a great group of girls,” Webb said.
The Wilson game begins at 2:30 p.m.