“Next up” for the unbeaten Capital Cougars this week means more than just the next match on the Narrows League 3A girls soccer schedule.
This one — Thursday’s matchup at home (Ingersoll Stadium, 7 p.m.) against Narrows co-leader Central Kitsap — is circled in bold crimson ink on the Capital calendar, and it has been for a while.
Senior Rachel Wofford, a captain and the leading goal scorer on a high-scoring Cougars team, said a win over Central Kitsap would be especially sweet.
“That would just complete the season,” she said.
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The match against CK is the second leg of a challenging week for the Cougars. On Tuesday, Capital defeated the league’s third-place team, North Thurston, 3-1, in Lacey.
The Cougars got two first-half goals by senior Maddy Midstokke and a late goal from Wofford. North Thurston’s Savannah Hakes got the Rams on the board in the 76th minute, but barely a minute later, Wofford sealed it for Capital.
Last fall, Central Kitsap pinned a 7-3 loss on Capital in early October, and after that the Cougars hit a “rough patch,” according to Wofford, including a loss to Wilson and a tie at Shelton.
It was a hard-fought 2-0 victory at North Thurston, the Cougars’ second win of the season over the Rams, that righted the ship. It was an “eye-opener,” Capital coach Adriana Montes said, for how her team needed to play against top teams.
In the next match, Capital battled Central Kitsap to a 1-1 draw.
“It was almost like a win, because it was such a great game,” Wofford said.
Central Kitsap (7-1 overall, 5-1 Narrows), the defending Narrows 3A champion and a state tournament participant last year, has scored 38 goals this season.
The team from Silverdale has lost only once, to Class 4A Stadium.
Capital (7-0 overall, 5-0 Narrows) also knows how to score — the Cougars punched in 13 goals against Mount Tahoma last week and have 42 goals overall.
Wofford has 14 of those goals.
“She has an eye for the goal,” Montes said of the Cougars’ leading scorer.
Wofford puts it this way: “I have that goal-hungry desire to score.”
All of the Cougars players are capable of scoring, Wofford said.
A case in point is the Cougars’ 3-1 win over Class 4A crosstown rival Olympia. Midstokke scored all of the Capital goals in the first win over the Bears in Wofford’s time at Capital.
“I have great shooters everywhere,” Montes said, “even my defenders. They’re so versatile — I can put anybody anywhere.”
Wofford, a 4.0 student with a bent for mathematics, has grown as a soccer leader since she was “the quiet one” as a ninth-grader new to the program, Montes said.
Now, Wofford and the Cougars are in the middle of their most significant week so far of a still-young 2015 season.
“They can’t stop talking about these two games,” Montes said early in the week.
“They’ve set high, high goals as a team, and this (week) is a test of how far they’ve grown.”