The pivot point came late in the day when the Bainbridge High varsity boys soccer team bested the visitors from Bishop Blanchet Friday, March 22.
After a long back-and-forth match the Spartans finally got one in the net with about nine minutes left, edging them to the 1-0 score that would ultimately earn them the win, their third of the year.
It advanced the island squad’s season record to 3-2-1 (2-2-1 in conference) and put them in the seventh place spot in the Metro League standings.
Roosevelt boasts the top spot (4-0-0 in league play), Garfield the second (3-0-1) and Chief Sealth the third (3-1-1).
Spartan Head Coach Drew Keller said it was fine showing by the BHS team, coming on the heels of a disappointing tie to Ballard just days before, but capping an ultimately encouraging early season week.
“It was a great week for us,” he said. “Good results as far as the scorelines, but you can the progression is going in the right direction.”
The Spartans had gotten off to a rough start, the coach said, trudging through two straight losses after a promising debut, but a subsequent 2-0 shutout against Ingraham and the Ballard tie had evidently properly set the stage for better things to come — better things that hopefully began with Friday’s win.
“We’re starting to settle in,” Keller said.
“They’re starting to gel together. I mean, that’s the nature of the high school season; a lot of these guys don’t play together except for right now and some of them never have until this year. So you’re starting to see that come together and we’re starting to tick the boxes we want to; get our style of play down and play more disciplined.”
Keller credited the squad, especially goalkeeper Evan Bergen Epstein, with battling appropriately through a rather tense final few moments Friday and protecting the lead when even the weather seemed to begin working against the Spartans.
“The last 10 or 15 [minutes], pretty nervy stuff,” he laughed.
“The wind and the rain, I mean those balls were in the air skipping around. But credit to the guys; they never really gave up anything that dangerous. It was inches from being dangerous several times, but they closed those gaps quickly, they got the blocks in there.
“Evan did very well in goal,” he added. “Just a very experienced performance from him.
“All in all, I can’t ask for more than I saw today.”
The next week saw a slightly lighter schedule for the Spartans, with just one game on the calendar, a brief relief which Keller said would be taken full advantage of.
“We’ll have some time to kind of address some things that I’ve been seeing, that we’ve all been seeing, that we want to work on a little bit more,” he said. “It’s fun to see them come together. They’re starting to have confidence in themselves and each other to play as a unit and move as a unit out there and play the system we want to play.”