When Gig Harbor forward Stevie Horwath woke up Saturday morning, he was scared.
But it had nothing to do with the Class 4A West Central District tournament title game he was playing in later that evening.
“I woke up and I thought it was Friday,” Horwath said. “I thought I was late for school. I wasn’t scared about the game — I was a little nervous, but I wasn’t scared.”
Turns out he didn’t have a reason to be nervous or scared.
Horwath led the Tides (14-2-2) with two goals Saturday, as they shut out top-seeded Tahoma, 5-0, at Tahoma High School to claim the Class 4A West Central District soccer title.
“To take the No. 1 seed away — it’s happened to us before,” Gig Harbor coach Todd Northstrom said. “It feels better on this side.”
Gig Harbor’s early wave of goals — four in the first half — and tight goalkeeping by John Reinke and Travis Peyton proved unsolvable for Tahoma, which was undefeated entering Saturday. The Bears (16-1-0) had not trailed in a match all season prior to the loss.
“We did not respond to that well,” Tahoma coach Jason Johnson said.
Tahoma had the first scoring opportunity in the first minute, when Logan Wood sprinted down the center of the field. He knocked the ball straight at Reinke, who immediately covered it. The Bears couldn’t maintain any offensive fluidity throughout the match — and Reinke and Peyton snagged anything that came close.
In the third minute, Gig Harbor took the momentum and never gave it back.
Ike Northstrom opened the scoring off of a corner by Tanner Stepp. Stepp then scored in the 36th minute, netting it in the right-hand corner from across the box.
Horwath took over from there. He broke loose in the 39th minute and slid to tap in a ball that rebounded off Tahoma goalkeeper Scott Leathley. A minute later, Horwath got behind Leathley to chip in another.
“Honestly it’s kind of a blur to me ... it happened too quickly,” Horwath said.
The Tides maintained that comfortable 4-0 lead into halftime, then added one more goal in the 60th minute on a penalty kick by Hunter Clarke.
Gig Harbor’s five goals were the most allowed by Tahoma in a single game all season. Entering Saturday’s match, the Bears had outscored opponents 54-6.
“I thought we came out flat,” Johnson said. “We gave up that early one and then we were just on a slip-and-slide the rest of the match.”
The Bears, who took fifth with the loss, will travel to Camas for the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament.
The Tides play Olympia (10-6-3) in the first round Wednesday at home.
Bellarmine Prep (11-1-2) will face Evergreen of Vancouver in the first round of the 4A state tournament at a date and time to be determined. Olympia (10-6-3) earned the No. 6 seed out of the district and will face another not-so-friendly face (Gig Harbor) in the first round of state.
The Bears lost to Gig Harbor, 5-3, in a back-and-forth battle on May 7 and tied, 0-0, on April 25.
It’s sort of his job to. But he’d rather just enjoy the win before heading off to a state match on the road against Inglemoor.
"I can’t complain," he said.
Brad Macdougall scored in the seventh minute on an assist from Trevor Lee. Tyler Nye added a goal in the 32nd minute to make it 2-0 before the half.
Mount Rainier’s lone goal came when a hard kick careened the ball off of Alexander Harms’ back from what White said was about the 20-yard-line and into the net for a Rams goal.
That was in the 69th minute when Puyallup had the match in hand.
Mount Rainier (10-6-1) will face Snohomish in the first round of state at a date and time to be determined.
The win gives Puyallup (14-0-2) its 14th consecutive victory after tying its first two matches of the season and sends the Vikings to the 4A state tournament to face Inglemoor at a date and time to be determined — though White said his team will have to travel for its first two rounds of state before the state semifinals and championship would be held at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
"The WIAA is not doing us any favors," White said. "We are still undefeated but yet we are going to go to the state tournament and not have any home games. …
"It’s the same argument that’s gone on in football and basketball and wherever – they won’t reseed. I don’t know why they won’t do it in football. I don’t know why they won’t do it in basketball. But they definitely won’t do it in soccer because we aren’t important."