Kickers go 1-1

Adam Brenneman puts a shot on goal in the Spartans’ 8-0 win over Klahowya Thursday night. Brenneman and Mitka von Ries Crooks both had hat tricks. - RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo
Adam Brenneman puts a shot on goal in the Spartans’ 8-0 win over Klahowya Thursday night. Brenneman and Mitka von Ries Crooks both had hat tricks.
— image credit: RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo

Adam Brenneman and Mitka von Reis Crooks both had hat tricks as the Spartan soccer team overwhelmed visiting Klahowya 8-0 on Thursday to even their record at 1-1.

Two nights earlier, playing in miserable conditions – temperatures in the high 30s, a chill rain and wind and a puddle-filled field – the Spartans dropped their season opener 5-2 to Mercer Island.

In Thursday’s game, Klahowya missed an early chance to score when a shot hit the Spartan goal post. Then Brenneman took a pass from Kris Ley, moved to his right through the penalty box, then drilled a hard ground shot into the left corner of the net in the seventh minute.

About 10 minutes later, an apparent Eagle equalizer was ruled not a goal. Soon afterward, von Reis Crooks broke past two defenders. His shot hit the left post and curled into the goal.

The Spartans scored twice in the 31st minute as Brenneman tapped in a rebound, then von Reis Crooks scored unassisted. Four minutes later, von Reis Crooks did a give-and-go with Brenneman to break free for his third goal.

The second half, played almost entirely in the Klahowya end, was scoreless for 28 minutes. Then within a four-minute span Kris Ley scored unassisted, Lawrence Ream made the score 7-0 on assists from Brenneman and Michael Gore, and Brenneman closed out the evening with an assist from Gore.

“They were really coming at us in the first ten minutes,” said coach Alex von Reis Crooks. “But our defense was really solid. In the second half we pulled our top five, and we still had strength.”

Island vs. island

The Islanders – last year’s state runners-up – wasted little time on Tuesday, scoring just over six minutes in the game on a shot just inside the penalty box after a corner kick. Three minutes later, after a Spartan defender missed a header, they narrowly missed a second goal as an Islander shot wide on a breakaway.

The Spartans knotted the score: Tristan Traywick’s shot after a penalty kick missed but the rebound was booted in by Kyle Johnston. The Spartans just missed taking the lead in the 27th minute on another rebound, but two minutes later Mercer Island took the lead for good on a quick shot after a pass into the center of the penalty box.

They put the game away early in the second half with two goals in two minutes, the second on a penalty kick that von Reis Crooks termed “marginal.” They scored again in the 65th minute, and the Spartans scored a consolation goal in the final minute by Ley.

“We knew Mercer Island would be strong, and it was the first time we played together,” said von Reis Crooks. “I think we could have beaten them. They capitalized on our mistakes, but we couldn’t cash in on theirs.”

The team travels to North Kitsap on Tuesday, then hosts Rainier Beach on Thursday in the Metro League opener.

Bainbridge JVs 5, Klahowya JVs 0 – Jordan Droppert and Marlin Gonda both scored two goals as the Spartans easily defeated the Eagles on Thursday. Zack Mallove added the fifth goal.

“I am really pleased with the unselfish way they are playing,” said coach Ahn Tran.

Bainbridge JVs 3, Mercer Island JVs 2 – Droppert’s 20-yard direct kick with six minutes remaining gave the Spartans the win in Tuesday’s game.

After a scoreless first half, Drew Keller’s goal from Gonda’s cross gave Bainbridge the lead 13 minutes into the second half. Exchange student Taweeksak Porkpoon made it 2-0 with an assist by Droppert. Mercer Island scored on a penalty kick, then tied the score with eight minutes left.

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