Freshman Leahi Manthei’s late goal lifted Gig Harbor to a 1-0 victory over Kentridge in the first round of the Class 4A West Central-Southwest Bi-District girls soccer tournament Thursday night at Mount Tahoma High School.
The Narrows champion Tides (9-1-5) not only had to battle the South Puget Sound League North champion Chargers (12-1-4) but the elements as well.
“The wind made it hard to read the ball in the air,” Gig Harbor goalkeeper Aubrey Lindberg said of the 28 mph wind. “I had to really make sure I had the ball when I went up and caught it.”
Gig Harbor will play Camas on Saturday at Mount Tahoma for the bi-district championship.
For much of the game, the speed of Kentridge’s midfielders and forward’s seemed to have the Tides backed up.
But Lindberg never faltered in organizing her defensive line to be ready for the Chargers’ attack.
“We knew they like to go to the right of the box when they attack,” Lindberg said. “Every time I pointed to where one of our defenders needed to be, they got themselves there. I just kept us together until we had a chance to score.”
That chance came in the 70th minute off Manthei’s foot.
After Manthei took a shot on Kentridge goalkeeper Sophia Salle, the rebound came right back to Manthei for a second opportunity.
Manthei put it away after Salle became entangled with one of the Chargers defenders.
“I just saw the ball bounce back and I tried to put it low,” Manthei said. “It just sort of rolled in when she was on the ground there.”
Kentridge will play Curtis on Saturday for the No. 3 district seed heading to the state playoffs.
At Camas 1, Curtis 0: Mason Minder scored on a free kick in the 30th minute, and Marie Matthews posted the shutout as the Papermakers advanced to the Class 4A district title game by knocking off the Vikings.
Auburn Mountainview 4, Timberline 0: Sophia Wagner scored twice and Madi Clarkson and Delene Colburn added goals as the Lions (15-2) beat the Blazers (11-3-2) in Sumner to clinch a spot in the Class 3A state playoffs.
Auburn Mountainview scored twice in a nine-minute span to stretch its lead to 3-0.
A change this year in the bi-district format protects the league champions from an immediate loser-out game.
To reach the state tournament, the Blazers now must beat Bonney Lake, which defeated Vancouver’s Mountain View, 2-1, at noon Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a tough road,” Timberline coach Jeff Peltier said.The News Tribune staff contributed to this report.