For the second year in a row, the Gig Harbor Tides defeated the Peninsula Seahawks to win the Baggataway Bowl. Gig Harbor’s lacrosse team now has a 2-1 edge in the young rivalry.
Gig Harbor won this year’s edition on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field, 9-4. Peninsula started off in a zone defense, limiting the Tides to one goal in the first period. At halftime, Gig Harbor led 4-2.
“It started off very slow and conservative,” Gig Harbor coach Marc Kemp said. “Peninsula was a playing a zone defense, which we hadn’t played against much before. So we were having some trouble at the start to penetrate and get shots off. Like a classic boxing match, both teams were feeling each other out.”
Gig Harbor exploded in the third quarter, outscoring Peninsula 4-1. The Tides held the Seahawks to just two second-half goals.
“The bottom line is, we didn’t play our best game, and they played very well,” Peninsula coach Courtney Mauzy said. “The better team on that evening won. They also have 18 seniors, which helps.”
Gig Harbor senior midfielder Elliot Hunter was a force for the Tides.
“He won the vast majority of his faceoffs and had a hat trick, which is excellent for a midfielder,” Kemp said.
Tides sophomore goalie Ben Brownfield saved 14 of the 18 shots Peninsula took.
“That’s remarkable,” Kemp said. “He played out of his mind.”
The game isn’t a conference game, which makes pride — and the trophy that comes with it — the prizes in the game.
“With the meaning we put into the game and the trophy, it’s our championship game in a lot of respects,” Kemp said.
Mauzy, who is new to the region, said the game was big for his players.
“It does have a cover of friendliness, but it’s also a really intense game to the kids,” he said. “They’ve played together for so long, they desperately want to win that game.”
Gig Harbor now boasts an 11-1 record, with its lone loss coming against Bellarmine. This year’s team hopes to be the first Gig Harbor team to ever win an opening-round playoff game.
“We’re in the best shape we’ve been in to make a run,” Kemp said. “On any given Sunday, any team can win. We’re certainly not the favorites but I’ve got a good, solid group of athletes.”