LACEY – If one-sided time of possession and frequent scoring chances won soccer games, the Capital Cougars would have walked out of South Sound Stadium as winners Wednesday night.
“We have to finish our opportunities,” said Capital coach Kyle Jones, whose team battled to a 1-1 draw against a game group of Timberline Blazers in a Narrows League 3A match.
“Not putting the ball in the back of the net is a problem.”
On the other side, Timberline coach John Hayes was far from displeased with the outcome.
He lost freshman star Casey French to an ankle injury in the first half, and his team was on the defensive most of the game – and still the Blazers managed to get away with a tie.
“We weathered the storm,” Hayes said. “Capital has a lot of weapons.”
In the first half, the scoreboard showed only one Capital goal, but it was far from an uneventful 40 minutes.
The Cougars kept up the pressure, and that put the heat on the Timberline defense, most particularly goalkeeper Kyle Apley.
The athletic junior made several significant saves after Capital players got good looks at the goal, including a diving stop as the horn sounded to end the half.
The one that got away from Apley came at 19:12 of the first half when a kick by senior forward Matteo Nertempi ricocheted into the right corner of the net.
Timberline got the equalizer early in the second half as Blazers senior Dan Ceban flashed some fancy dribbling to advance the ball.
When Capital goalkeeper Jakob Racimo came out of goal, senior Blazers forward Brett Curtis punched it into an empty net.
The teams played mostly in the Timberline end of the field the rest of the second half, but the Cougars couldn’t dent the net against Apley and the Timberline defenders.
Their best opportunity for a winning score came when a squared-up shot by Onan Lopez-Cabreras sailed high with 55 seconds remaining.
The tie moved Capital to a 5-2-2 record overall, 2-0-2 in Narrows League 3A play. Timberline is 3-3-1 overall, 2-2-1 in Narrows.