North Kitsap JV defeats Curtis JV 12-11 | Girls lacrosse

North Kitsap’s Victoria Vanderhaden looks for an opening during a challenge by Curtis defenders March 24 at Strawberry Field. Vanderhaden had three goals and two ground balls in North Kitsap’s 12-11 win.   - Richard Walker / Herald
North Kitsap’s Victoria Vanderhaden looks for an opening during a challenge by Curtis defenders March 24 at Strawberry Field. Vanderhaden had three goals and two ground balls in North Kitsap’s 12-11 win.
— image credit: Richard Walker / Herald

POULSBO — The North Kitsap JV girls lacrosse team is showing signs that it will emerge from this rebuilding year a strong, fit, seasoned team.

North Kitsap JV defeated Curtis JV 12-11, March 24 at Strawberry Field.

North Kitsap’s eight-member squad, playing without subs, showed grit and endurance in eking out its first win of the season.

North Kitsap midfielder Aisling O’Connor scored within the first minute of the game, followed by goals by attack Vicky Vanderhaden and midfielder Shannon Gill to give North an early 3-0 lead. Curtis then got on the board with a goal.

Curtis scored four goals by the end of the half. Curtis and North Kitsap added four more goals by the end of the half — two by North Kitsap’s Gill, and one each by O’Connor and attack Lexi Alfarone. North Kitsap went into the half leading 7-5. North came out strong in the second half, once again getting on the scoreboard first on a goal from Vanderhaden. Curtis went on a scoring run, earning three goals before North Kitsap responded with a goal from Alfarone. The teams traded goals but North maintained the lead. The game ended with the last goal scored by Curtis, to bring them within one goal of North.

North Kitsap goalie Victoria Klos had 13 saves, stopping seven in the first half and six in the second half for a 54 percent save rate.

O’Connor and Alfarone bolstered the defense with four ground balls each; midfielder Lily Eckert had three, Gill and Vanderhaden had two each, midfielder Mikalia Olson had one.

Curtis agreed to play with eight players, and North Kitsap coach Val Torrens gave Curtis props for sportsmanship. In women’s lacrosse, teams play with 12 players on the field, but North Kitsap has only eight on its roster.

“Even though they never led at any time during the game, they didn’t take advantage of their 18-player squad to add more players to give them a numerical advantage,” Torrens said.

North Kitsap is showing steady improvement. The squad opened the season with a 16-1 loss at Bainbridge JV on March 10, impressed the crowds with a 16-10 loss to North Olympic JV on March 18, then held Seattle Prep JV to one goal in a 1-0 loss on March 21.

“We are a small squad, and these kids fight to the end,” Torrens said. “When we played North Olympic, a grandfather — who is also a football official — came over to compliment the team. He said, ‘You’ve got a great team here. They dug deep and fought hard.’ ”

It’s a rebuilding year for veteran coach Torrens and the NK girls lacrosse program. NK is competing this year in the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association’s junior varsity league; there is no girls varsity team this year. The NK varsity girls finished 0-5 in WSLA’s Peninsula League in 2013.

The program has a proud history in the WSLA: Emilie Poffenroth of the 2012 varsity team is on the WSLA’s list of league leaders with her 11 ground balls in one game (March 27, 2012 vs. Ballard). The North Kitsap girls won the WSLA varsity championship in 2004 and finished second in 2003.

Val Kranich, a second-team All-State goalie for the 2011 North Kitsap varsity team, is assistant coach. Because the team has eight players, players work out in between games to build up their endurance. Kranich has the team jogging, running, sprinting, and doing drills. The team practices Monday through Friday 5-7 p.m. at Strawberry Field.

Half of the squad has played lacrosse a year, the others are new. Most play basketball, soccer or run cross country.

“They’re a bunch of nice kids. And they are working their tails off,” Torrens said.

Depending on how this JV squad does, “we’re hoping we will be able to go out and recruit,” she said.

Scorecard: Lexie Alfarone — 3 goals, 4 ground balls, 4 caused turnovers; Lily Eckert — 3 ground balls; Shannon Gill — 3 goals, 2 ground balls; Aisling O’Connor — 3 goals, 4 ground balls, 1 drawn charge; Mikalia Olson — 1 ground ball; Sierra Thornton — 1 caused turnover, 1 drawn charge; Victoria Vanderhaden — 3 goals, 2 ground balls, 2 drawn charges; Goalkeeper: Victoria Klos, 13 saves.

March 10: Bainbridge Island JV 16, North Kitsap JV 1
March 18: North Olympic JV 16, North Kitsap JV 10
March 21: Seattle Prep JV 1, North Kitsap JV 0
March 24: North Kitsap JV 12, Curtis JV 11

March 26:
Garfield JV at North Kitsap JV, 5 p.m, Strawberry Field.
April 10: Bellingham JV at North Kitsap JV, 6 p.m., Strawberry Field.
April 23: Puyallup JV at North Kitsap JV, 5 p.m., Strawberry Field.
April 25: North Kitsap JV at Vashon JV, 6:30 p.m., Vashon High School.
April 30: North Kitsap JV at North Olympic JV, 4:30 p.m., Greywolf Elementary in Sequim.
May 3: North Kitsap JV at Eastside Catholic JV, 2 p.m., at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish.
May 3: North Kitsap JV at Evergreen JV, 4:15 p.m., at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish.

Returning players
Lexi Alfarone, attack
Victoria Klos, goalkeeper/attack
Aisling O'Connor, goalkeeper/midfielder
Victoria Vanderhaden, attack

New players
Lily Eckert, midfielder
Shannon Gill, midfielder
Michaela Olson, midfielder
Sierra Thornton, attack



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