Sports

Sumner shuts door on BHS girls soccer

For Bremerton girls soccer, the ride is over.

The Lady Knights lost a loser-out, winner-to-state match 2-0 against Sumner at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner Nov. 8, ending an otherwise bright year and late-season run.

Sumner, the Class 3A South Puget Sound League regular season champion, used two first-half goals to build a lead too large for Bremerton’s sometimes stagnant offense to overcome.

“I reminded our girls that they needed to pick up the intensity to climb back into the match,” BHS coach Lance McCoy said of his halftime words. “(We) responded well to the challenge and surrendered no more goals throughout the contest, while putting a lot of pressure on Sumner’s interior defense.”

But with a two-goal deficit, the Lady Knights couldn’t overcome their lone downfall: an inability to consistently score goals.

“We just had trouble putting the ball in the net,” McCoy said. “Although we did not tally (a goal) in the second half of play, I can at least say we left the field with our heads held high.”

Heavy underdogs to advance even beyond sub-districts, Bremerton turned a few heads despite falling short against Sumner.

“We caught a hot streak at the end of the season and ran as far as we could,” McCoy said. “It’s a team, that’s why we were successful.”

Bremerton graduates all three captains — Sarah Streutker, Hannah McCoy and Kelsey Johnson — as well as Vanessa Friday, Nataly Smith, Breezy Robison and Vanessa Richardson.

For McCoy, who called it an honor to watch the seven seniors grow on — and off — the field since their freshman season, it’s a bittersweet time.

“I’m very pleased with their overall effort and growth,” McCoy said. “They exemplify all that is right with high school athletics.”

Together, the seven seniors paved the way for a team with a bright future. With four freshmen, two sophomores and three juniors, all of whom are expected to return next year, the Lady Knights hope to find the postseason yet again.

“They helped show the underclassmen what it means to be a Lady Knight senior soccer player,” McCoy said. “They’ve been everything and more.”

Junior Kristy Wood anchored Bremerton’s defense in goal and should play an instrumental role next year, while fellow juniors Brooke Erickson and Angelique White also return as leaders.

But the youngsters — freshmen Julie Belden, Rachael Pratt, Abby Neil and Hallie Whorrel, and sophomores T’Lea McLoed and Megan Arriola — hold the key to Bremerton’s 2009 season.

“We gave them broad roles and they stepped up,” McCoy said of the underclassmen.

McCoy said winning Bremerton’s first girls soccer playoff game in 21 years was rewarding and a testament to the will of his players, something he is proud to play a role in.

“I think Bremerton kids are worth fighting for, these are my people,” McCoy said. “It’s been an experience I wouldn’t trade.”

The Lady Knights finished the season with an overall record of 5-11-2.

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