OLYMPIA – The Gig Harbor High girls soccer team inched closer to wrapping up the Narrows League 4A championship on Tuesday.
As usual, the Tides relied on their defense to get the job done.
For the fifth consecutive contest, Gig Harbor didn’t surrender a goal, blanking host Olympia, 1-0, at Ingersoll Stadium.
However, it wasn’t in the Tides’ usual dominating fashion, as Olympia twice failed to score when faced with open-net opportunities in the first half and had four corner kicks in the final 25 minutes of the second half but could not get on the scoreboard.
“It doesn’t matter how many shots on goal you have, if you can’t score you’re not going to win,” Olympia coach Tessa Effland said. “We had plenty of opportunities to score tonight and didn’t capitalize on any of them. You can’t do that when you’re playing the league’s top team.”
Gig Harbor improved to 9-0-1 overall and 8-0-1 in league action. The Tides have won three straight after playing Bellarmine Prep to a 0-0 draw on Oct. 4.
Should Gig Harbor continue to roll and capture the league crown, it will end the stranglehold Bellarmine Prep has had on the Narrows League 4A for five years. The Lions have won 11 out of the past 12 league titles, with Olympia (2006) being the only other squad in that period to hoist a championship banner.
As for the Bears, they dropped to 6-3-2 overall and 4-2-2 in league.
Gig Harbor got its goal from Rachel Ross in the 38th minute.
Julia Sahlin’s free kick from 30 yards out on the left side was perfectly placed directly in front of the net.
Despite being surrounded by three Olympia defenders, Ross emerged from traffic and headed the ball past Bears goalkeeper Olivia Brock, who was diving to her left.
Brock pushed aside a handful of quality scoring looks for Gig Harbor in the first half, notably batting away a header from point-blank range off a corner kick in the eighth minute and turning away Celia Vaughn’s blast 10 minutes later.
The Bears nearly got on the scoreboard on a corner kick in the 19th minute, but Brooklyn Hooper’s header just missed the mark, going wide left by a foot or two.
Olympia became much more aggressive in the second half but could never find the equalizer as the Tides swept the two meetings this season, also posting a 2-0 win at home on Oct. 2.
Led by goalkeeper Aubrey Lindberg, Gig Harbor has posted eight shutouts this season, while outscoring opponents, 30-3, and last giving up a goal on Sept. 27 during the Tides’ 5-2 win over Central Kitsap.