State soccer: North Kitsap Vikings, Archbishop Murphy Wildcats face off in a rematch

SNOHOMISH — It will be one year ago Wednesday that the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats defeated the North Kitsap Vikings in the first round of the 2010 2A Girls Soccer Championships.

The Vikings hope to write a new history.

The Vikings and Wildcats play today at Snohomish High School, 1316 5th St., in the first round of the 2011 2A Girls Soccer Championships. Game starts at 7 p.m. The winner of the game tonight plays either the Hockinson High School Hawks or Sumner High School Bulldogs in the quarterfinals, which will be determined tonight at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium.

The Vikings will look to control the ball more than last season. Coach Chris May said if the Vikings can keep the score tied at halftime or get one point up, it will be to their advantage.

"I think we're just going to have to focus on defense, keep them in check and maybe frustrate them a little bit," May said. "I think it's going to be to our advantage to keep it a low-scoring game."

As far as scoring goes, May said he does not believe the Vikings will be able to outscore the Wildcats. Instead, the team will look for one or two goals while keeping the Wildcats' top scorers at bay.

The Vikings earned their trip to State after defeating Lindbergh 2-1 Nov. 5. Abbie Wright earned the Vikings' first goal and Delanee Niles sent in the winning goal from the corner. May said Rachel Fisk and Naomi Morgan played defense well and Becca Cates and Wright had strong midfield play. However, May said the team did not play its best, but played enough to win.

Tonight, the Vikings will need to be on top of their game.

During the first round of State last season, the Wildcats defeated the Vikings 4-0. The Wildcats went on to win again against Interlake in the quarterfinals (5-2). In the semifinals, the team lost to Sehome (1-0). The Wildcats took third at State with a 4-0 win against Easy Valley High School in the consolation final.

Last season, the Wildcats were a senior heavy team that played quickly, Vikings assistant coach Nicole Funk said. The Wildcats passed efficiently, making it difficult for the Vikings to gain control.

"They didn't have a lot of shots, but they had quality shots," Funk said of the 2010 Wildcats.

This time around, Funk said the Vikings’ varsity team is more mentally prepared for the playoffs and "the intensity it brings." The players are "hungrier" and overall, are playing at a higher leave, she said.

"At this point, you don't care how they get the W," May said, referring to a win. "As long as you're on the winning end."


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