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Prep boys soccer: Bearcats shut down by Vikings in state opener

May 14—BOX SCORE

At North Kitsap

VIKINGS 6, BEARCATS 0

W.F. West 0 0 — 0

North Kitsap 3 3 — 6

Scoring Summary

NK (7') — Mason Chmielewski

NK (30') — Pepe Deluna (assisted by Logan Anderson)

NK (37') — Mason Peters (assisted by Chmielewski)

NK (42') — Gavin Rogers

NK (59') — Chmielewski (assisted by Ethan Peck)

NK (71') — Ethan Florent (assisted by Peters)

POULSBO — On film and attempting to simulate it in training over 24 hours prior to kickoff on the Centralia College turf, Allen Anderson came to a conclusion of North Kitsap's attack.

"It was impossible," the W.F. West High School boys soccer head coach said. "Nothing compares to the real thing. Mentally, we defeated ourselves a little bit before we got here."

It proved to be reality.

The third-seeded Vikings dominated possession and dissected the 14th-seeded Bearcats defense to the nth degree in a 6-0 thrashing in a Class 2A opening round state match on Tuesday night at home.

Scoring within the first and last 10 minutes was the start and finish the Vikings (18-1) used to reach the quarterfinals against either No. 6 Pullman or No. 11 Evergreen (Seattle) this weekend.

"It is a completely different skill set," senior defender Charles Comisky said. "I can't be mad at their skill level, it is leagues ahead of ours. I can't be mad that we lost to a team like that by this much of a margin."

It was the finality of a season for W.F. West (12-6-1) that featured an outright Evergreen Conference title, two wins in the District 4 tournament and the third trip to state in program history, second in the last three years.

Yet Anderson felt this junior-laden group wasn't a year ahead of schedule.

"This year was another continuation of what we accomplished two years ago," he said. "If we played to our potential, we had a good chance of being (at state) this year."

Still, there were some cracks that started to pop up post-spring break.

The Bearcats defense that was a bonafide strength for much of the season — a school record 10 shutouts — struggled in April and early May. They gave up multiple goals in four matches and after posting a clean sheet against Shelton on April 9, didn't record a shutout until the opening round of the postseason.

It all unraveled for a moment in the semis against R.A. Long, allowing three straight goals in a 15-minute span of the second half and overtime.

"A lot of people got out of shape," Comisky said. "We definitely had our fair share of mistakes."

North Kitsap lit up the scoreboard in the seventh minute on a throw-in that went over W.F. West netminder Josh Madrigal. The Vikings scored another goal off a throw-in in the 37th minute to lead 3-0 at the half.

They added three more in the final 40 minutes to coast to a victory.

"Fell a little short on the execution," Anderson said.

Chances for the Bearcats were minimal. Moises Sanchez-Hernandez attempted a bicycle kick and Rafael Mendez took a shot on the left side that went wide in the first half. Jeremy Thompson had a run down the sideline and was cut off in the second half.

Sanchez-Hernandez was put at the primary striker spot while Mendez, Thompson, Adrian Jaimes and Uzi Lopez Cruz took up the four midfield spots.

"Just to try to alleviate some of that pressure," Anderson said. "Our goal was to make (our chances) count. We knew their outside backs would play up trying to exploit that space behind them. We knew we could muster a few chances against them, but we weren't able to execute."

Comisky, Madrigal and goalie Cayden Page all shared an embrace afterwards in tears. They walked off the turf together towards the van for the last time as teammates.

"I'm at a loss for words," Comisky said. "This whole season, we've been carrying the underdog story. Gave everything we had. I'm sad to see it go, I wish it went differently. I couldn't be more proud of these guys (and) what they put in."

Those three plus Jorge Zamudio-Campos, Tommy Caperon and Thompson will depart as seniors. Anderson will have to replace both goalkeepers and 75 percent of the back line.

"I'm going to go off the same thing that will happen next year, it will be a strength," Anderson said. "I'm really hopeful that we're right back here next year."

Mendez, Lopez Cruz and Jaimes will anchor the attacking unit. Comisky feels W.F. West can return to state and potentially go farther.

In the captain's eyes, it will come down to one trait.

"They need to put in a lot of work," Comisky said. "If they get some strong people, they can rebuild like we did. They need to put in the work in the offseason, something we kind of lacked."