Kickers blank NK 2-0 in season opener

Tucker-Gagnes, O’Donnell notch goals as the defense blunts the Viking forays.

POULSBO – The Spartan soccer team got off on the right foot Monday.

Will O’Donnell and Dylan Tucker-Gagnes scored as the Spartans defeated the North Kitsap Vikings 2-0 on the road.

Goalkeeper Alex Bolt recorded the shutout with 10 saves, a showing coach Anh Tran described as “fantastic.”

“He’s much stronger off the line,” Tran said. “Last season he was a little hesitant. This year he’s coming out and breaking off their attack just by coming up and sweeping up the ball.”

Bolt, along with Spartan defenders Beau Green, Lucas Pearl, Leandre Fischer and John Baggett, shut down the Viking attack by beating the opposition to the ball and shutting down North’s top goal scorer Carlos Portillo, limiting him to just three shots.

In the 35th minute, it appeared Spartan midfielder Tyler Church had scored after making his way past two defenders and the goalie, but the referees disallowed the goal on offsides.

Three minutes later, O’Donnell took advantage of a ricochet to put the ball in the left corner for the first goal of the game.

In the second half, the Vikings turned up the pressure and created several opportunities to score, but were turned away by the Spartan defense or Bolt.

The Vikings’ best chance came on a corner kick in the 49th minute, when Zach Sampson sliced through the Spartan defense and went for the header – but was a split second late and the ball sailed over the crossbar.

That was it for big scoring opportunities for North, despite Sampson’s repeated penetration of Bainbridge’s defense. Tucker-Gagnes scored in the 67th minute to seal the game.

“I thought they moved the ball well in the second half,” Tran said. “At halftime I told them it’s anybody’s game. You’re not possessing the ball and they got a little more possessions in the first half.”

Church went down near the end of the game after being tripped by a Viking player. Tran said it was a combination of cramps and a minor ankle injury and he’ll be good to go.

Bainbridge travels to Port Townsend today, then hosts Sequim at 7 p.m. Friday.

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