Kickers still solid after tough split

"The invaders from Port Angeles swaggered onto the Bainbridge soccer field Tuesday evening, and showed why they're called Roughriders. And why they're unbeaten.In a game that was over almost before it began, the Riders outmuscled if not outhustled the Spartans, posting a 4-0 shutout.The Sparts rebounded Thursday to blank Central Kitsap by the same 4-0 score."

  • Saturday, April 29, 2000 11:00am
  • Sports

“The invaders from Port Angeles swaggered onto the Bainbridge soccer field Tuesday evening, and showed why they’re called Roughriders. And why they’re unbeaten.In a game that was over almost before it began, the Riders outmuscled if not outhustled the Spartans, posting a 4-0 shutout.The Sparts rebounded Thursday to blank Central Kitsap by the same 4-0 score.Against CK, Bainbridge took charge early. Stephan Paige scored with only five minutes gone on an assist from Ashton Rezayat, then hit an unassisted goal 12 minutes later. Jeremy Lehv tallied before halftime, then completed the scoring in the second half with an assist from Cam Waller.We were pretty much in control the whole way, Bainbridge coach Alex von Reis Crooks said. He praised Kyle Twitchell’s work in goal, and said that Adam Brenneman did an excellent defensive job substituting for an injured Josh Dick.In the Port Angeles game, the decisive score came only three minutes into the game. PA’s Kyle Trussell perfectly executed and acrobatic flip throw-in, somersaulting over the ball as he held it in both hands, then snapping a toss as he came upright. The shot came down directly in front of the Spartan goal, where it was headed in.Nobody does that, coach Alex von Ries Crooks said. He threw the ball 20 yards farther than anybody else does, and caught our defense looking. He didn’t do that the first time we played them.The Riders added another goal two minutes later when they blunted a Spartan attack, then cleared the ball rapidly to the other end, creating a two-on-one situation and a point-blank shot at goalie Kyle Twitchell.Then PA flexed its muscle, both good and bad.The good muscle came in the form of goalie Jamie Mendenhall, who Bainbridge coach Alex Von Ries Crooks has labelled easily the outstanding player in the Olympic League. He’s about 5-10, about 215 pounds and solid muscle, the coach said prior to the game. He’s confident, he’s fearless, and he’s so strong he makes plays other keepers don’t try.Despite PA’s offensive prowess, the Sparts still might have won had it not been for Mendenhall. Twice, he stopped point-blank penalty kicks. And at least four times, the Sparts centered the ball in front of the visitors’ goal for a head-in shot only to have Mendenhall fight his way through the crowd and leap to catch the ball.Penalty kicks should be almost automatic, von Reis Crooks said. When a keeper saves one, it’s really discouraging to you.Now the bad part of PA’s muscle. The Riders certainly don’t shy from confrontations. Mitka Von Crooks found that out early in the game when his nose was badly bloodied in a scrum. And towards the end of the first half, one of the visitors threw a punch and drew a red card that sidelined him for the remainder of the game.Even playing one man short, PA kept applying pressure. They got an easy score in the second half when Spartan goalie Twitchell lost a race for a ball in front of the net, giving the attacker an open net. And when Bainbridge finally appeared to break through and score, the officials disallowed the goal, ruling that a Spartan player was hanging onto the crossbar.The split gives Bainbridge an 8-3-1 record, with two of the losses to PA. But the result did almost no damage to the Sparts’ post-season position. They’ve already clinched a spot in the district playoffs, and can claim the number-one seed by finishing in the league’s top four. They have a four-game lead over the two fifth-place teams with five games to go.And there is hope for the future. For the second time this year, the Bainbridge JV team beat their Port Angeles counterparts, winning Tuesday’s game 2-1. Tristan Traywick scored the first Spartan goal on an assist from Emmett Adam. After the visitors tied it up, Kris Ley scored the winning goal on a corner kick from Adam.”

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