After a 6-3 loss to North Thurston on Oct. 9, Peninsula wanted to get back on track Thursday night at Roy Anderson Field, hosting the Yelm Tornados.
The Seahawks pressed from the beginning, and while it took a little time for the flood gates to open, Peninsula (7-4-1 overall, 6-3-1 Class 3A South Sound Conference) came away with a comfortable 4-0 win over Yelm (3-9-0, 2-8-0).
Arica Hodkinson got the scoring started in the 33rd minute, when a teammate sent a long ball into the box and Hodkinson tapped it in, giving the Seahawks a 1-0 lead heading into the half.
The game opened up in the second half. Ashleigh Bernhard scored for the Seahawks in the 58th minute and before those in attendance could blink, teammate Madison Grande scored in the 59th minute to push the lead to 3-0.
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In the 76th minute, Bernhard added her second goal of the game to seal the 4-0 win, coming off a corner kick. After the corner was taken, the ball had bounced back out wide to Bernhard, who sent a perfectly-placed low shot into the left corner of the goal.
“We moved it up the line pretty well,” Bernhard said. “We just worked together as a team. This one meant a lot to us.”
For the sake of the team’s morale, bouncing back was important, after conceding six goals to North Thurston on Tuesday night. In the two-game series against the Rams, North Thurston has won both, outscoring Peninsula, 10-6.
“Both times, they just beat us,” said Peninsula coach Jenny Buys. “They’ve just had our number. So coming back with a win tonight, it feels great. It’s a good reminder that every day is a new day and we’ve got to win it every day in order to keep moving forward. It feels good.”
While Concordia University bound Madison Grande is the focal point of the attack at the center forward position for the Seahawks, Peninsula has been working on its spacing, working the ball outside and getting more players involved in the attack.
“We played a little higher today, had a lot more passes today, played more to feet,” Grande said. “We really worked the sides well, which helped us get those crosses in.”
While Grande is capable of scoring some jaw-dropping goals, Peninsula seems to be at its best when the goal distribution is spread evenly.
“We’ve been working on a lot of that movement, not taking so many shots from the 18 in the front,” Buys said. “We’ve just been doing a lot of things to create some different opportunities. We have more people scoring, which is nice. We’re unstoppable when we use everybody. We’re starting to do that more and more, in terms of our movement.”
While Gig Harbor High is once again the class of the South Sound Conference, with a perfect 10-0 record in league play, Peninsula is right in the thick of things for the second spot in the standings. The Seahawks are just behind Timberline (7-2-1) and North Thurston (7-3-0).
Peninsula hits the road next week for a pair of road games: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Capital and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Central Kitsap.