It was another tightly contested contest in the NPSL Northwest tonight as visiting Kitsap SC snatched a 1-0 victory on the road against Spokane. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in their season opener in mid-May in Bremerton.
Both sides had a multitude of chances in tonight’s match. Sixteen minutes into the match a turnover in Kitsap’s end of the pitch gave Spokane one of their best chances of the night with Nick Hamer getting the ball behind the back line, but goalkeeper Paul-Andre Guerin came out to the top of the box to challenge him one-on-one and got enough of the ball to foil the opportunity.
Bryan Hernandez again had a stellar night at the other end for the Shadow, making several brilliant stops. A free kick from the right side by Mike Scharf was headed under the bar in the 27th minute before Hernandez tipped it over the bar.
A turnover, though, was the difference. Kitsap claimed the ball at midfield and Hamidou Kante put Jorge Ruiz behind the Shadow defense, leaving Hernandez in a difficult one-on-one scenario that Ruiz finished from about 13 yards in the 35th minute.
The Shadow nearly pulled even just before the break with a quick series of passes that gave Hamer another look at goal, but his effort slipped wide left.
Just a minute into the second half it looked like Kitsap was going to double the lead on a penalty, but Ruiz effort toward the left was denied by Hernandez, who then also made a fantastic reaction save on the rebound. The ball continued to ping around the six before a Kitsap play – arguably offside, but uncalled – knocked it on goal. His touch, however, was mishit and popped up, smacking off the crossbar before being cleared away.
Both teams had a few more looks in the contest, but the visitors clamped down on Spokane’s opportunities and left with the victory.
Kitsap SC 1-0 Spokane Shadow