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DeLuna, Hadden help give Vikes shutout against Bucs | Soccer
POULSBO — Craig Smith and his Buccaneer soccer team have competed against the Vikings for five years now. On April 17, the Vikes and Bucs met for the first time this season. It was one of the best Viking teams Smith has seen.
"It's my fifth year playing against NK, and that was the most balanced team I've seen," Smith said. He noted that the games usually end with a win by a single goal.
The Vikings defeated the rival Bucs 4-0 at the North Kitsap High School Stadium. Raul DeLuna earned a hat trick. Jordan Hadden had the shutout at goal.
The Vikes scored halfway through the first half, when Raul DeLuna kicked in a cross from Brady Sparrow. One minute before the end of the first, Ismael DeLuna scored with an assist from Fischer Young. It was the Vikes second goal that may have disrupted the Bucs and throughout the game Raul "just popped up out of nowhere," Smith said.
It was not all Vikes. Early on in the first half the Buc's offense forced Hadden to make a few diving saves. However, after the Vike's defense settled down, there was not much pressure on their goal.
"[The Bucs] did make a couple shots early on," Viking coach Chris May said. But "from then on he didn't have a whole lot of work to do."
The second half continued without a goal until the 55th minute, when Raul kicked another in, with an assist by Sparrow. Five minutes later, Raul was back at the goal with his brother, scoring the fourth and last goal of the game.
May said he's worked with Raul, a freshman. For a while, May said, Raul was waiting for the "perfect shot," instead of taking chances at the goal and going for any possible scoring opportunity. The game against the Bucs may have shown a change in that mentality.
Though Raul scored three of four goals for the Vikes, Smith said he felt the star of the game was Hadden.
The Vikes have talent all over the field, Smith said, but Hadden changes the game. This includes being able to kick the ball 75 yards down field; a huge momentum shift.
"He owns that space back there," Smith said.
Smith expects the Vikings to be in the top-tier of 2A schools this season. He said nothing would make him feel better than for the Vikes to make it all the way — except for seeing Kingston make it all the way, of course. The North Kitsap team represents the league well, he said.
"I wish them well," Smith said.
When the Vikings and Buccaneers face each other on the soccer field, the game is typically dominated by emotions. By the time the game is over, May said the teams end up being "emotionally drained."
Not so much this time around.
The game went smoothly for the Vikes, which will benefit them as they prepare for their league game against Bremerton April 19, May said.
"I think we're more emotionally charged now," May said.
The Bremerton Knights are the defending Olympic League champions. The Knights took the title from the second place Bucs last season.
The Vikings Varsity team plays at Bremerton.
The Bucs will are at home against Olympic.
Varsity games are scheduled for 6:45 p.m.