Pitch perfect: All-Kitsap County Girls Soccer Team named

Bremerton senior defender Kelsey Johnson was named to the 2008 All-Kitsap County Girls Soccer Team for her defensive efforts. - Photo courtesy of Lance McCoy
Bremerton senior defender Kelsey Johnson was named to the 2008 All-Kitsap County Girls Soccer Team for her defensive efforts.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Lance McCoy

Johnson selected to AKC team; three more Lady Knights receive honorable mention.

For Bremerton, this was a breakout season in girls soccer. Coach Lance McCoy steered the Lady Knights to within one win of the state tournament while also snapping the school’s 21-year postseason winless streak. With scrappy defense, Bremerton often hung with heavily favored opponents by keeping the score low and, sometimes, scoring a goal or two to secure a win. One of the more well-rounded teams BHS has seen in recent years, the Lady Knights bought into McCoy’s “as one” theme, playing as a true unit rather than 11 individuals.

King’s West, meanwhile, played .500 ball to finish the season 6-6-2 overall, barely missing postseason play. With nine underclassmen on the 2008 roster, the Lady Warriors return a healthy portion of the team next season and should be near the top of the Class 2B SeaTac League.

The 2008 All-Kitsap County (AKC) Girls Soccer team was compiled by the sports writers for the the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent. Candidates for the team were nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees were then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams. Two honorable mentions were selected from each school for each sport. The team includes the best players from area schools who not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

The following is the 2008 AKC Girls Soccer Team. The 2008 AKC Football Team will be featured in the Saturday, Dec. 6, edition of the Bremerton Patriot.

2008 All-Kitsap County Girls Soccer Team

F — Ali Brown, Olympic, senior — Brown is a pure soccer player. She’s athletic, explosive with the ball and acutely aware of what’s happening on the field around her. With 29 total points, 12 goals and five assists, Brown often finished — or created — offensive attacks for Olympic’s potent front line. Brown fueled a handful of last-minute Lady Trojan victories, including the team’s 1-0 win against Shadle Park in the first round of the state tournament when she scored in the 78th minute to help her team advance to the quarterfinals.

F — Siara Byers, North Kitsap, junior — One of the fastest players in the state, Byers was the second-leading scorer in the Olympic League. Her combination of speed and skill caused havoc for defenses and she has heart and guts, playing injured during the Vikes’ district and state playoff games, helping with a few goals and key assists. Byers finished the season with 17 goals and seven assists. Coach Dee Taylor said Byers has enough skill to play any position on the field and should challenge for Olympic League Most Valuable Player next season.

F — Tori Fairweather, South Kitsap, senior — Woodinville coach Sully Hester has seen plenty of good soccer players come through his program. After all, the Falcons have finished no worse than third in the Class 4A state tournament the last four years. But after eliminating the Wolves, 4-2, at state Nov. 12, Hester was effusive in his praise of Fairweather. He commended her physical style of play and said she was one of the best players his team had seen all season. Fairweather finished the regular season with 10 goals.

MF — Hannah Anderson, Central Kitsap, junior — Anderson provided pop to CK’s offense, which at times struggled to score goals in the absence of former standout Brandi Hamre, a four-year varsity player who graduated in June and now plays at Seattle Pacific University. A player coach Vicky Webb called “the most valuable to the offense and to the team,” Anderson was co-captain, scored seven goals and dished out five assists.

MF — Christina Boddie, South Kitsap, junior — Boddie, who also is a standout for the school’s track and field program, might be the most athletic player in the Wolves’ program. She was one of the primary factors the Wolves returned to the state tournament for the first time in three years with eight goals and three assists during the regular season. South’s shootout win against Stadium in the Narrows League playoffs might be the best example of her value to the team. Coach Michael Krug “saved her for state and gave some other players opportunities,” because Boddie had a knee bruise. But when the Wolves were forced into a shootout, Boddie was asked to enter and take a shot.

MF — Delanee Nilles, North Kitsap, freshman — Nilles’ ability as a freshman matched that of a veteran high school star. In her first high school season, Nilles accomplished an impressive feat — the “double/double”— by contributing 14 goals and 10 assists. That accomplishment alone demonstrates the impact she had. With the ability to score with either foot, inside or outside the goalie box, or find her teammates in scoring position, Nilles is dangerous everywhere.

MF — Anndrea O’Leary, Olympic, junior — Coach Steve Haggerty referred to O’Leary as the “engine” that made the Lady Trojans’ midfield run. She is a hard worker with outstanding technical ability and often set the table for Brown and fellow scorer Audrey Pond to the score the goals they did. O’leary finished with three goals and nine assists, 18 total points.

D — Kelsey Johnson, Bremerton, senior — Bremerton coach Lance McCoy has coached Johnson since her middle school years and said he believes her ability to read the flow of play — and defend, accordingly — is what makes her not just a good player, but a great player. The Lady Knights’ postseason run and for that matter, success all season, keyed on Johnson’s defensive play. She is versatile, strong, handles the ball well and battles for possession with more intensity than most players.

D — Alyssa Nystrom, South Kitsap, senior — Nystrom was the only starter returning this year at a position former coach Scott Sodorff considered the team’s strength last season. But the position remained strong as South had six shutouts and allowed one goal per contest during the regular season. Nystrom, who will play at the University of Montana, was the primary reason behind that.

D — Rachel Tafte, Kingston, sophomore — A sweeper who predominantly anchored Kingston’s defense, this underclassman held the back line and dictated tempo. She was voted team Co-MVP by her teammates, the first 10th-grader to receive such an honor under coach Craig Smith. Tafte added two goals and one assist in her far back role, but was recognized primarily for being the last line of defense in front of the goalkeeper.

GK — Darrien Dorr, Olympic, junior — Perhaps “lockdown goalkeeper” is the best way to describe Dorr, who posted 14 shutouts in 19 games. The junior yielded just seven goals all season (.37 per game), including a nine-game shutout streak. What’s more, she returns next season to anchor an Olympic team coming off a berth to the state quarterfinals.

Coach of the Year — Michael Krug, South Kitsap — South Kitsap graduated 11 players off a team that missed the state tournament a year ago. Krug, the school’s third coach in four years, introduced a new system and dealt with the loss of the team’s most prolific scorer, forward Courtney Brown, who sustained a season-ending injury in September during an Olympic Development Program tryout. Despite that, Krug guided the Wolves to their first state appearance in three years. Their season ended against Woodinville, which advanced to the state championship.

Honorable Mention

F/MF — Katie Anderson, King’s West, senior — Anderson led the Lady Warriors with 25 total points, scoring 12 of the team’s 27 goals while tallying one assist. She scored a hat trick Oct. 14 in a 3-0 win against Rainier Christian and with two more years of eligibility, figures to be a force down the road in the SeaTac League.

MF — Kirsten Anthony, Central Kitsap, sophomore - Webb praised Anthony for her work ethic, translating to success on the field. She was third on the team with five goals while also finishing with an impressive nine assists. Focused and driven, Anthony already possesses the intangibles many players don’t develop.

F/MF — Megan Antoni, Kingston, senior — Co-captain Antoni plays aggressive, with heart, speed, skill and instinct. She’ll do whatever it takes to snag the ball, reach her teammates or take the shot. Antoni scored eight goals on 54 shots and tallied two assists. The Bucs’ leading scorer, she also filled in as sweeper during Kingston’s district playoff game.

MF — Elya Le, North Kitsap, sophomore — Small in stature but huge in heart, Le brought the energy to disrupt on defense and the intellect and skill to create on offense. Considered the spark plug of the team, she was everywhere on the field, effectively distributing the ball to teammates. For any team to compete, it needs a player such as Le.

D — Brielle Kadrmas, Olympic, senior — Each time Dorr tallied a shutout, she credited the defense in front her for limiting the number of shots the opponent took. And Kadrmas, a senior, played an intricate role in doing just that, supporting Dorr and the entire defensive unit. She added four goals as well.

D — Courtney Lewandowski, Klahowya, junior — A tough defender who reads the game well, Lewandowski “was the heart and soul of our defense,” according to coach Troy Oelschlager. Klahowya lost only six games throughout the season — four of the losses were by one goal — and Lewandowski was the biggest reason for that.

MF — Brianna Mathisen, King’s West, senior — Third on the team in total points with seven — two goals and three assists — the 5-foot-8-inch veteran offered balance and experience to an otherwise young King’s West roster, which had nine underclassmen.

GK — Rae Ann McConnel, Kingston, senior — A goalie you can count on, she tallied 89 saves in 15 games. McConnel also added an additional 15 yards to her drop-kick release effort. When Kingston took Olympic — which at the time hadn’t lost a league game in two years — into overtime, McConnel saved more than 30 shots to keep Kingston in the game. Kingston narrowly lost to North Mason, the undefeated league champion, 1-0, and McConnel was the main reason.

MF — Hannah McCoy, Bremerton, senior — McCoy’s improved one-on-one defensive play, coupled with her precise passing and ball skills, gave the Bremerton midfield unit a huge lift. A co-captain, she played 66 games at the varsity level and made the go-ahead assist in the Lady Knights’ 2-0 sub-district victory against Yelm Nov. 4.

GK — Christine Parker, North Kitsap, senior — The pressure of goalkeeping was nothing to Parker, who allowed just seven goals in 11 league games. She earned seven consecutive shutouts during one stretch of the season to help North Kitsap reach the Class 3A state playoffs.

F — Audrey Pond, Olympic, senior — Pond could easily be an AKC starter given her numbers: 33 total points on 13 goals and seven assists. She led the Lady Trojans in goals scored (one more than Brown), capitalizing on a wealth of scoring opportunities. Pond had a knack for the goal and played a huge role in the team’s success.

F — Jamie Schultz, Kingston, junior — Schultz, who is or will be a three-sport letterman, academic achiever and one of the fastest girls in the league, played hurt much of the season and still created opportunities each time she touched the ball. Definitely a player her teammates could count on and an athlete with heart and guts, Schultz had two goals and three assists. She was the Bucs’ second-leading scorer.

MF — Sarah Streutker, Bremerton, senior — Another player who’s been with McCoy since middle school, Streutker was co-captain and great with the ball. A pressuring defender, she also is who McCoy called a “link midfielder,” meaning she provided and created scoring opportunities for her teammates.

D — Allie Washburn, Central Kitsap, senior — The Lady Cougars’ success hinged upon defense. With a noted drop-off in goals scored compared to 2007, Webb often turned to CK’s back line to keep the game close. Washburn led that charge. Co-captain and a player Webb dubbed “the most valuable to the defense,” Washburn created scoring attacks with well-orchestrated runs while also keeping the opposition out of the goalie box. She is one of three CK seniors to graduate.

MF — Jenna Whetsel, Klahowya, senior — Oelschlager commended Whetsel for her leadership, both on and off the field. The senior captain, a four-year varsity starter, was the centerpiece of Klahowya’s midfield. A defensive-minded player, Whetsel’s stats are modest — she didn’t score during the season — but her presence alone boosted the Lady Eagle team.

MF/D — Angelique White, Bremerton, junior — White’s versatility made her one of Bremerton’s most valuable players. McCoy said he felt comfortable plugging White wherever the team needed help, even moving her from midfield to outside defense late in the season, a switch he said helped “stabilize the defense.”

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