Sports

Spate of goals paces Spartans

The goal for this year’s Spartan soccer team is to score more goals.

Scoring just seven times all last season, Bainbridge succeeded Friday evening with a 3-2 win over non-league guest Port Townsend in the season opener for both teams.

“Port Townsend gave us a good game,” coach Anh Tran said. “This will help us in Metro.”

The Spartans scored first on an 11th-minute goal by Amine Ramadan, assisted by Jesse Burk-Rafel. Ramadan buried his shot low and left.

The Redskins tied it on a free kick in the 24th minute, but Burk-Rafel pulled the Spartans ahead 2-1, six minutes before halftime. He fashioned the goal on his own, battling through a crowded middle.

The Spartan 11 came out controlling the field after the break, with zig-zag passing that kept the Port Townsend defense off balance.

Burk-Rafel extended Bainbridge to a 3-1 lead in the 48th minute on a fine combination that went through Dylan Tucker-Gangnes.

Receiving a smart pass from co-captain Zach Mallove that switched the point of attack, Tucker-Gangnes crossed right to left, locating the looping ball for Burk-Rafel to slam high into the opposite corner eight minutes into the half.

Port Townsend never gave up, scoring off Devin Wesenberg in the 58th for the final margin.

Despite the win, Tran said he saw several technical areas where play needs to improve before the team faces conference foes. Yielding the first score on a free kick from the top of the box, and the second on a corner kick scramble, the Spartans allowed Port Townsend to exploit dead ball situations.

“All their scores came off set plays,” Tran said. “We can work on that, and will.”

Redskins forward Keenan Johns was intercepted on his way to goal by a tackle judged to have been a foul, leading to the first score. The resulting free kick from the edge of the 18-yard box found the Bainbridge wall a player short on the near post, where sophomore goalkeeper Alex Bolt had no chance on Johns’ rocket into the upper corner.

The corner kick goal came off a ping-pong series of saves in front of the Bainbridge net. Saved off the line by a defender, then twice by Bolt, the ball was finally knocked in by Port Townsend’s Devin Wesenberg.

“Alex is a good, young goalie,” said Tran. “He needs to see that kind of action. He will get better with experience.”

Spartan highlights included the play of John Grue, who maintained calm in the midfield connections. Mallove kept pressing Port Townsend with speed in the corners throughout the game, drawing out defenders for crosses and mixing up near post drives as he cut into the box.

Also impressive were freshman Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, Jason Droppert and Will O’Donnell, who patrolled the middle of the field with command.

Bainbridge finished with 25 shots on goal and six corner kicks, to eight shots and a single corner kick by Port Townsend.

The junior varsity will provide a Metro League preview against Seattle Prep at 5:30 p.m. March 24 at Memorial Stadium, while the varsity traveled to Sequim last night and hosts rival North Kitsap at 12 p.m. March 26. They open league play at home, hosting Lakeside at 5:30 p.m. March 29.

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