Bellarmine Prep goalkeeper Dylan Zurfluh has had such a busy season trying to keep all these 4A Narrows League teams scoreless that it was nice to take a break for a change.
He touched the ball about five times in the Lions’ 3-0 win over Olympia on Monday — and none of them were saves. The ball was on Olympia’s side so often that he might as well have been studying for his next math test.
“This season’s been pretty tough,” Zurfluh said. “It was so nice to sit back and relax.”
And he’ll get to relax some more until Saturday. The win clinched the 4A Narrows title for Bellarmine Prep (10-1-2 overall, 9-1-2 and 29 points 4A Narrows), surpassing Gig Harbor (12-2-2; 9-2-1, 28 points) in the league standings.
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The win also gives the Lions byes in the first two rounds of the 4A West Central District tournament and an automatic berth into the state tournament.
Olympia (8-5-3, 6-4-2, 20 points) plays Kentwood at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, with the winner playing at Curtis at 6 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that plays Bellarmine Prep at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma for either the second or sixth seed to the state tournament.
“It’s very special to get back to state,” Bellarmine Prep coach Joe Waters said. “People can take for granted that we can just go to state every year, but you don’t. And our league is so hard. There were no gimmie games.”
The Lions had to beat Gig Harbor, South Kitsap and Olympia in consecutive games just to have a shot at the title.
Though Monday’s game was much easier than the 3-1 win May 5 over Gig Harbor, which takes the No. 2 seed after Bellarmine’s win. The Bears left all their starters in Olympia so they could prepare for Tuesday’s district opener.
“I was thinking it might be 8-0 or 9-0,” Olympia coach Ty Johnson said.
It would have been had Bellarmine Prep capitalized on more of its opportunities.
Connor Thompson, who has switched from the back line to a defending midfielder since the Gig Harbor match, scored on an assist by Isaac Russell in the third minute, but the Lions then missed on their next seven shots on goal before Thompson’s header to Kyle Casey was headed into the goal in the 51st minute.
Robert Nurmi added an insurance goal in the final minute and found himself under a pile of teammates.
“We have so many weapons on this team,” Waters said. “Hopefully it’s all coming together at the right time.”
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