The 4A boys soccer championship game is set, and Bellarmine Prep is nowhere to be found, losing, 1-0, in the semifinals to Central Kitsap on Friday night at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
With the loss, Bellarmine (14-2-2) will play at noon today in the third-place game against Central Valley (13-4). Central Kitsap (17-0-2), which is 2-0-1 against Bellarmine this season, will play Skyview (15-4) for the title at 4 p.m.
Although the game appeared to be destined for extra time, Central Kitsap forward Jordan Kollars decided to put his stamp on the game with a long-ranged scoring effort from 28 yards out in the 55th minute.
Driven low, Kollars pocketed the marksman strike into the back left post of the goal, just out of the reach of Lions goalkeeper Eric Bottjer.
For Bellarmine, the game was marred by missed opportunities.
Michael Rector, who was a speed menace up top for the Lions, created several goal-scoring opportunities with his unmatched pace, putting an enormous amount of pressure on the Cougars’ defense and left fullback Brad LeBlanc.
However, Rector’s efforts, which usually resulted in swinging crosses off his right foot, were ineffective as Central Kitsap’s defense was able to weather the storm every time, holding strong and securing several big clearances.
The best chance for Bellarmine also came from Rector, who escaped Central Kitsap’s back four in the 51st minute.
However, the opportunity had anything but a clinical finish as the shot was directed right into the waiting hands of Cougars goalkeeper Jordan Berkley, who secured the ball into his chest.
Bellarmine brought one last effort in the waning seconds, but the chance was again turned away by Berkley and his amazing reflexes.
SKYVIEW TROUNCES CENTRAL VALLEY
As for the first leg of the 4A semifinals, Vancouver’s Skyview came away 4-1 winners over the Central Valley Bears of Spokane.
Skyview’s scoring assault was led by midfielder Sean Price’s two goals.
With just 16.4 seconds remaining in the first half, Price got his first goal with a direct free kick goal. The clinical strike came from just outside the 18-yard box, putting the Storm up 1-0.
Price struck again in the 45th minute off another direct free kick, this time from 42 yards out off the right flank.
The free kick floated into the box with no intent of scoring, but Central Valley keeper Alex Yoseph misjudged the trajectory of the ball and overaggressively came out, allowing the ball to ease into the back corner of the goal untouched.
Skyview’s Austin Horner added a goal in the 55th minute, and Central Valley managed to do some self-inflicting damage with an own goal in the 67th minute just after having scored its goal.
A strong run by Eastmont of East Wenatchee came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Mercer Island.
Bainbridge also advanced to the final with a one-sided 6-2 win against the Mighty Thunder of Mountain View (Vancouver). The two meet at 2 p.m. for the 3A title.