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NK soccer season ends at state
SEATTLE -- North Kitsap’s season came to a soggy end Tuesday as the Vikings fell 4-0 to Seattle Prep in the first round of the state 3A soccer tournament.
The game marked the Vikings' (13-3-2) first trip to the state tournament in two decades and their first loss in nearly two months. It was also North's worst loss of the 2009 season.
As the skies opened up over Interbay Stadium in Seattle, a tough Panther team poured in four unanswered goals to send North Kitsap into the offseason.
“(We) got beat by a better team tonight,” North Kitsap head coach Chris May said after the game. “We needed to raise our game a little bit, and we didn’t.”
Seattle Prep scored its first goal on a controversial no-call in the seventh minute, when Kevin Goodwin ran into Viking keeper Nate May near the top of the penalty box. May was spun to the ground in the collision, allowing Goodwin a clear path to the empty net. No foul was called and the Panthers took a 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, Prep’s Bobby Santucci added his team’s second goal when a free kick ricocheted into the penalty box where he was waiting to punch it in. For the remainder of the first half, both sides fought with staunch defense to keep the ball out of their respective nets.
“We had good possession, but we weren’t hungry enough to get the goals,” NK forward Jon Kidder said. “We were playing hard, but I guess it just wasn’t enough.”
Neither team scored during the first 33 minutes of the second half, despite some close calls. In the 71st minute, the Panthers nearly had their third goal when a corner kick bounced off a crowd of players in front of the Viking net and banged against the crossbar on its way out of bounds. As the minutes ticked away, it appeared the game would end in a 2-0 victory for the Panthers. But in the 74th minute, Santucci dribbled into the Viking defense and found an open Matt Kane waiting at the top of the 18. Nate May stretched out to attempt the save, but Kane laced the ball into the corner with a quick right foot. One minute later, as the rain fell heavier than it had all evening, Santucci once again followed a ball deep into Viking territory. May attempted to snag the wet ball as it bounced slowly toward him, but it slipped through his grip. Santucci zipped past and easily tapped in the fourth and final goal of the match.
“There’s nothing to put their head down about,” Coach May said of his team. “The Panthers played well. You can’t fault them.”
North Kitsap is done for the season, and Seattle Prep will play Saturday against Franklin Pierce.
First half -- 1, SP, Kevin Goodwin, 7th; 2, SP, Bobby Santucci, 10th.
Second half -- 3, SP, Matt Kane (Santucci), 74th; 4, SP, Santucci, 75th.