Sports

Girls soccer: Wolves' perfection ends in Gig Harbor

It is not an impossible feat.

After all, Bellarmine Prep’s girls soccer team went undefeated in league play -- albeit with two ties -- as recently as 2007.

But it has not happened since then and likely won’t this year as South Kitsap fell from the Class 4A Narrows League’s undefeated ranks with a 2-0 setback Tuesday at Gig Harbor.

Despite the result, the Wolves (6-1-1 overall, 5-1-1 league) remains in first place with 16 points, while the Tides (7-2-0, 5-2-0) moved into a tie for second place with 15 points in the league’s crowded standings. Olympia (5-1-3, 4-0-3), which also has 15 points, is the only 4A Narrows team still undefeated in league play.

“With Bellarmine, South, Olympia and CK, every week is a different deal,” Gig Harbor coach Dani States said. “It’s going to be a tight match-up all the way up to the last week.

“It makes it exciting.”

After a scoreless first half, Tides junior forward Kate Frame broke the tie when she kicked the ball into the right side of the net past goalkeeper Bri Smallige.

“We really focus on our runs across the field and that’s what Kate did,” States said. “She made her run and the ball just got sent through. That’s how you can beat a good defense like that.”

South coach Julie Cain said it was one of the few breakdowns she has seen from her defense this year.

“That’s the first game I’ve had to yell at my backs to get back behind the ball,” she said.

That particularly was difficult because each team only had about a half-dozen shots on goal.

“It wasn’t actually a game with a lot of shots either way,” Cain said. “It was played a lot in the middle of the field.”

That forced her to put four forwards on the field to put more pressure on Gig Harbor. It almost worked with about 10 minutes left on a cross that went into a pack of Wolves in front of the goal. But sophomore goalkeeper Aubrey Lindberg saved the shot.

“That was an amazing save,” States said. “She’s very confident. You don’t see any waver in her whatsoever.”

Cain attributed part of her team’s struggles to playing on FieldTurf. It marked only the second time South has competed on an artificial surface this season. They also tied Olympia, 1-1, on Sept. 20 at Ingersoll Stadium.

“It’s a big adjustment,” Cain said. “It does change the game quite a bit. The pace of the ball hurt us a lot.”

But Cain, who dashed after a ball that went out of bounds late in the contest, said that could have been overcome with more intensity.

“We didn’t bring it,” she said. “We didn’t decide to work until the last 10 minutes of the game. You can’t win soccer that way. It’s disappointing.”

The Tides took advantage of the Wolves’ offensive-heavy scheme in the final minute as Marissa Shields broke past defenders to score.

At Gig Harbor 2, South Kitsap 0
First half-None.
Second half-1, Gig Harbor, Kate Frame, 56th minute; 2, Gig Harbor, Marissa Shields, 79th.

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