Coming into Gig Harbor’s game against Peninsula, Tides’ junior Bailey Werner had only scored one goal on the season.
She scored double that in Gig Harbor’s crosstown rivalry on Thursday night, scoring two of the Tides’ eight total goals at a rainy Gig Harbor High School field.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the team energy,” Werner said. “The team chemistry after three years, it’s so strong this year. I’m really confident on the field. I think that just rubs off on everyone. That confidence just keeps us moving. It’s easier to score when you’re pumped up.”
Her two goals were unique, too. She scored both of them within a minute of each other, in the 58th and 59th minutes of the game. Even more crazy? She wasn’t even the only player on the team to pull off that feat. Senior Leahi Manthei’s hat trick included two goals within a minute, in the 30th and 31th minutes of the game.
“It was just crazy being able to do that,” Manthei said. “It’s really cool. It was just fun.”
Gig Harbor coach Stephanie Cox called the coincidence “unusual,” and said it’s an indication of her team’s will to win.
“I just think it’s good that they’re hungry and sometimes you just get in a rhythm, get in a groove and things are going your way individually and that was good to see from them,” Cox said.
Gig Harbor (12-0 overall, 10-0 Class 3A South Sound Conference) lit up the scoreboard, with five different players scoring: Three for Leahi Manthei, two for Bailey Werner, and one apiece for Paige Tullis, Jaylynn Barton and Carolyn Merrick.
Gig Harbor has been pleased with how the attack has come together this season.
“We’ve been working a lot on communication and attacking in the final third as a team,” Werner said. “Working on pulling up our outside backs. Just communicating and involving everyone.”
Gig Harbor’s back line and goalkeeper earned a clean sheet against Peninsula (6-5-1, 5-5-0).
“I was really proud of them getting a shutout when things are really slippery,” Cox said. “Our backs did a great job getting their body behind the ball and not giving them many opportunities.”
Gig Harbor plays Central Kitsap (7-2-2, 7-1-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 18) at Roy Anderson Field. Gig Harbor will likely win the league title with a win over the Cougars.