Sports

Despite difficulties, Bucs soccer fights on | Girls soccer

KINGSTON — The Kingston Buccaneers exceeded expectations this season.

Winning their first five games, the girls varsity team held one of the best conference records the team has had.

“For the first two-thirds of the season, it was the best winning record we've ever had,” Kingston head coach Craig Smith said.

“We've certainly won more games than we've ever won,” Smith added.

But the road to the 2A Girls State Soccer Championships has become a little bumpy for the Bucs.

The Bucs have lost their last three games. They have not scored a goal since Oct. 24, when they won 3-0 over the North Mason Bulldogs. The Bucs took fourth place in the Olympic League Tournament, losing 3-0 to the Klahowya Eagles, and 3-0 again to the Vikings.

The Kingston team has also been marred by injuries through the season, which began back in late September, when the Bucs and Vikings faced each other for the first time this season. The Vikings, a more physical team, left the Bucs bruised Sept. 26. The two teams played again Oct. 28 and Nov. 5.

“We're pretty bruised and beat up …,” Smith said.

Despite difficulties as the season wore on, however, the Bucs accumulated enough points to earn an Olympic League Tournament appearance, which guaranteed them a district playoff appearance Nov. 9. The Bucs play the Lindbergh Eagles at 2 p.m. at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Lindbergh finished second in the Seamount League (5-1-1 in league, 11-3-1 overall).

The Lindbergh Eagles had a good season. Playing in a 2A/3A mixed league, the Eagles fell only behind Hazen High School. With a total of three loses and one tie, the Eagles have, in some cases, significantly outscored their opponents.

Smith believes the Bucs may have drawn a better opponent than the Vikings.

The Vikings face the Fife Trojans at noon Saturday at Franklin Pierce High School. The Trojans finished second in the South Puget Sound League (13-1-0, 14-2-0). Smith said Fife may be a contender for the State Championship.

However, the Vikings finished the regular season 16-0. The team suffered its first loss during the league tournament against the Olympic Trojans.

Conference records are rarely a means to determine the outcome of postseason competition, though.

“It’s almost like a new season,” North head coach Chris May told the Herald in a previous interview. Though the Vikings won the league title, it doesn’t mean anything as far as a State appearance, he said.

Listing off the Eagles’ record Thursday, Smith said he knows the Bucs are up against some tough competition. “They had a good season,” he said.

The Bucs aren’t out of it yet. They had a light practice Wednesday and were headed out to the field Thursday to play under the lights in a late-night practice. Kingston needs to defeat the Eagles for a berth at State.

“We’re going to continue playing aggressively and see if we can get a goal,” Smith said.

Having worked through most of their major injuries, Smith said playing the best teams in the league have better prepared the Bucs for playoffs. He hopes the Bucs represent Kingston High School and the league well against the Eagles.

 

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