Megan Dimmler wasn’t looking to be a hero. She wasn’t even planning to score.
But with the ball at her feet and the clock winding down on Friday night’s semifinal match of the Class 4A state girls soccer tournament, the senior midfielder seized the opportunity and gave defending state champion Central Valley a 1-0 win over Gig Harbor at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“I was trying to dish it off at first and let our forwards score because that’s what I usually do,” she said, “but when I saw I had an open opportunity to score, I thought, ‘I’m going to take this,’ and it went in.”
The night’s only goal came in the 79th minute as Dimmler took a pass from sophomore forward Kelsey Turnbow and shot it into the upper middle portion of the net from about 24 yards out.
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It was sweet redemption for Dimmler after a near-miss in the 68th minute when she drilled a 38-yard shot, but Tides junior goalkeeper Jordan Bertram punched it back out.
Senior goalkeeper Chloe Sholtz recorded the shutout for Central Valley as the Bears will face Jackson, which scored three goals in a six-minute span to rally and defeat Skyline 3-2 earlier in the day, in the 4 p.m. championship match Saturday at Sparks Stadium.
Central Valley has now won seven consecutive state tournament matches.
Gig Harbor plays Skyline at noon in the third-place match.
Bertram said that her role in the outcome came down to positioning, and that she got lucky on Dimmler’s first attempt.
But on the second, which she called a beautiful shot, “I just couldn’t get back in time to tip it in, so it was rough.”
Gig Harbor’s best scoring opportunity in the defense-heavy match came in the 72nd minute, when junior midfielder Joey Watermeyer had a breakaway shot from about 17 yards out, but it was saved by Sholtz.
Despite the loss, Tides coach Dani States said she was proud of her team’s journey to the semifinals.
“We had to fight through everything, and of course, having to face the previous year’s state champion, it hasn’t been easy,” she said. “They adjusted well, put on the pressure and did everything we needed to do. But they had that one great opportunity and we didn’t.”