In the past two seasons, midseason swoons have led to late-season surges for the Bellarmine Prep girls soccer team.
The Lions will need to follow that same blueprint this season – they hope with similar results.
Not since 2009 had the five-time Narrows League 4A champions been shut out on their home field in a league match, but it happened Tuesday – and thoroughly – as Olympia blanked the Lions, 3-0, at Memorial Field.
The jockeying behind league leader Gig Harbor continues. Olympia (5-1 overall, 4-1 Narrows) moved into second place alone, and Bellarmine Prep (5-2, 3-1) dropped to third place.
Sarah Snodgrass’s 18-yard blast in the 19th minute was the winner for the Bears. But the real decisive score came late in the first half.
Defender Megan Spataro sent in an indirect kick from 25 yards out that somehow cleared the entire Bellarmine Prep defense and went right to Faith Cebula, who laced a low header just inside the left post in the 38th minute.
It was an especially gratifying sequence for Cebula, who missed the 2011 season with a severe knee injury.
“We are a new team with just a handful of returners. We’ve had some good games, and some not-so-good games,” Olympia coach Tessa Effland said. “Tonight, we found a system that works for us.”
Bellarmine Prep coach Joey Waters has rarely witnessed big losses such as this. The last time a school beat his Lions this badly was in 2007, when Oregon powerhouse Central Catholic won 3-0 in a non-league game.
“Their (Olympia’s) three goals, we made a total of nine or 10 mistakes,” Waters said. “One mistake, you can get away with. Three mistakes … no, you can’t.”
Yet, Waters indicated his team has been down this road before, including last season, when the Lions lost to Olympia, then ran off 11 consecutive victories on their way to the Class 4A title match, which they lost to Skyline.
“Momentum can build as quickly as it dies off,” Waters email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/preps