The Gig Harbor High School soccer team, over the course of the regular season, didn’t seem like a likely candidate to be one of the final four teams remaining in the Class 3A state tournament.
The Tides finished third in the South Sound Conference, behind first-place Peninsula and second-place Central Kitsap.
Peninsula and Central Kitsap are out. But Gig Harbor remains.
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Gig Harbor defeated Squalicum, 4-2, in the opening round of the state tournament, and then West Seattle, 3-1, in the quarterfinals.
Against West Seattle, Gig Harbor got on the board early. Chase Alire scored in the 19th minute off a cross from Max Frank to make the score 1-0. Then Alire struck again in the 69th minute off an assist from Shawn Kimble.
Kimble harassed a defender that tried to play it to the keeper, then stole it and passed it to Alire in front of an open net.
Jovani Martinez scored Gig Harbor’s final goal in the 72nd minute off an assistant from Nate Jones on a cross to make it 3-0 for the Tides. West Seattle scored in the 80th minute, but it was too little, too late.
Gig Harbor (14-3-3) will face a tough Snohomish (17-3-0) squad at 2 p.m. Saturday (May 27) at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. The winner will face the winner of the Roosevelt and Garfield game in the state championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday, also at Sparks.
Snohomish won the 3A Wesco with an 11-1-0 league record. The Panthers will be another tough test for Gig Harbor. But the Tides have thrived as the underdog in the state tournament so far this year. Gig Harbor knocked off 18-2-1 Squalicum in the opening game of the state tournament last week.