By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles outworked North Kitsap, outshooting the Vikings 16-5 and winning four more corner kicks than their cross-Canal counterparts, but couldn’t come up with a goal in a 7-6 penalty kick shootout defeat at Civic Field on Thursday.
The Roughriders (4-2-0, 6-2-0) earned one point for the shootout defeat.
In Thursday’s contest, the Riders had scoring opportunities from the early going, including a lined strike by Michael Scott from about the 18-yard mark, a certain goal that was fingertip saved over the bar by the Vikings Italian exchange student goalkeeper Giacomo Battu in the third minute.
North Kitsap blanketed Port Angeles’ striker Ben Schneider defensively, putting two and sometimes three defenders on the explosive scorer when he got touches close to the goal.
Schneider and Andrew St. George worked to link up with each other offensively, earning three first-corner kicks and a number of throw-ins, but couldn’t put anything inside the goal.
“We did press them pretty hard. We probably had more quality goal-scoring opportunities, we just couldn’t finish,” Port Angeles coach Chris Saari said.
Riders’ goalkeeper Lorenzo Delatorre covered up North Kitsap’s best chance at a goal before halftime in the 38th minute.
Port Angeles defender Hollund Bailey whiffed on a clearance deep in Riders’ territory and North Kitsap ran onto the ball with Delatorre coming off the goal line to collide with the Viking while keeping control of the ball.
Bailey, a captain and centerback for Port Angeles, was injured just before halftime.
“[He] injured his knee late in the first half on a 50/50 ball tackle where both players tackled the ball extremely hard,” Saari said.
Bailey didn’t return to the game.
“Gabe Long dropped into the centerback position after the injury and filled in nicely in that role for the Riders,” Saari said.
The other members of Port Angeles’ back line stepped up in the second half to meet a more challenging North Kitsap offense.
“Cameron Butler had a great overall game for PA getting forward from the outside back position, tackling hard and getting crosses in from the right flank,” Saari said.
“Andrew Borde also stepped up his overall game at centerback with Bailey on the sideline. Borde won balls out of the air and on the ground and distributed the ball well.”
Delatorre made a two-handed save on a point-blank shot by the Vikings’ Ben Harrel after a North Kitsap corner leaked out in the 59th minute.
Port Angeles’ best chance at a goal in the second half came in the 65th minute.
A North Kitsap defender slipped on the wet Civic Field grass and passed the ball directly to Schneider, but Schneider’s shot was saved out of bounds and the Riders were unable to capitalize on the ensuing corner.
After the teams played two scoreless five-minute overtime periods, the contest went to a penalty kick shootout.
Delatorre saved the Vikings’ third penalty kick, but Port Angeles’ Kenny Soule and Michael Scott missed on their attempts, Soule going high above the crossbar and Scott’s attempt saved at the low right post by Battu to end the game.