An undefeated season shriveled up in the span of a minute when the Gig Harbor girls soccer team witnessed two Issaquah goals puncture the 4A Narrows League champions’ state title hopes in the opening round of the state playoffs at Roy Anderson Field.
The Tides had only suffered one shutout prior to Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Eagles, a scoreless draw with Bellarmine Prep in October.
“We weren’t clicking offensively,” Gig Harbor coach Dani States said. “(Issaquah was) always a step ahead.”
The goals came as a result of Issaquah using its advantage in speed in the second half after a disorganized first half.
“Defensively, they didn’t shut down our playmakers. We weren’t in sync,” States said.
“They have a lot of speed and work well together,” Tides junior midfielder Celia Vaughn said. “They knocked it around us a lot and we’re just not used to that speed of play yet.”
Vaughn, a key cog in the Gig Harbor offense with three game-winning goals this season, broke the metacarpal bone in her right hand a week ago in a car accident and wore a forearm cast in the game, Vaughn’s first since the wreck.
She triggered a series of squirms from those watching, clashing in battles for a header and being knocked down twice on her cast side by Issaquah defenders.
“I just put it all out there and it didn’t really faze me,” Vaughn said.
The first half might have fallen into Issaquah’s favor if the game was determined by time of possession, yet a gauntlet of well-positioned Tides defenders kept the Eagles from threatening.
For a Tides defense that recorded 10 shutouts this season, stellar play from sophomore Emily Wallerich and seniors Sammie Burghardt and Sara Massee kept the game scoreless.
In the second half, Issaquah started to coordinate its attack and appeared a bit more responsive to spacing opportunities.
“We were on our heels a little bit and that’s not normal for us,” States said. “When you get to the state level, you’ve just got to take advantage of opportunities. Issaquah was the better team.”
Midway through the second half, States subbed out Burghardt, Vaughn, senior Kate Frame and Alli Oatridge, which preceded senior captain midfielder Allie Bohnett getting carded. The Tides were receding and Issaquah took advantage.
Sophomore Eagles midfielder AnnieLorlei Hoffman scored the first goal when a shifty possession allowed her to close in on Tides keeper Aubrey Lindberg.
Just over a minute later, Issaquah got opportunistic with a turnover with junior forward Juliana de Cruz notching the goal.
Although Gig Harbor’s season ended far earlier than expected, Vaughn was proud of her team’s camaraderie.
“We set some incredible records for the school this year going 14-0-1,” Vaughn said. “We went over a big hump and worked well as a team.”
At Tahoma 4, Snohomish 0: Tori Tappero scored the game-winner in the 15th minute, and Kaysha Darcy added a pair of goals late in the first half as the SPSL champions and No. 1 4A team cruised in Maple Valley.
The Bears will host Curtis in the quarterfinals Saturday.
At Sumner 4, Kingston 1: The No. 1 Spartans keep piling up goals – and this time they came early in eliminating the Buccaneers at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Alyssa Murray scored in the third minute, and Kaylie Rozell tallied the first of her two goals in the fifth minute to give Sumner a 2-0 lead.
It was the third consecutive season the Spartans won a 2A first-round game. They will play 2009 state champion Archbishop Murphy in a quarterfinal rematch Saturday at 2 p.m. in Sumner. The Wildcats won last season, 1-0.