High School Sports

Prep soccer: Penalty kicks pave way for Gig Harbor’s victory

There’s a little bit of magic with this Gig Harbor soccer squad. Facing elimination for the third game in a two-week span, the Tides won in penalty kicks, just like the other two district games. This time though, it was the Class 4A state tournament opening round against Kentridge. Tied 3-3 in PK’s, senior Rachel Ross stepped up for Gig Harbor and knocked it in, giving the Tides the 2-1 win over the Chargers in Kent.

“I was just not trying not to think about it too much, because if I overthink it, I know I’ll mess up,” Ross said. “I just tried to stay calm and just know that if I do what I know I can do, the game should be ours.

While the games aren’t always pretty, the Tides continue to find a way to win.

“I don’t care if we go through every game doing PKs as long as we get to that state final, I’ll take the PKs,” Ross said.

There might be no one Gig Harbor coach Dani States trusted to take the final kick more than her star senior.

“She’s clutch,” States said. “There’s just no doubt about it.”

Kentridge struck first; junior forward Peyton Chick made no mistake on a perfect through pass from senior midfielder Kennedy Anson, putting the Chargers ahead 1-0 in the 43rd minute. But Gig Harbor junior Joey Watermeyer equalized in the 68th minute on a rebound shot.

Gig Harbor will host Issaquah this weekend in the state quarterfinals.

Olympia 3, at Skyview 2 (OT): The Bears (14-2-2) were a perfect 5-for-5 in the shootout session, and advanced to the state quarterfinals in back-to-back seasons with a victory at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver.

Nicole Sesenbeck, Megan Spataro, Hannah Killman, Sadie Forte and Jenna Killman tallied the penalty kicks. Olympia won, 5-3.

At South Kitsap 3, Union 1: Ashlan Burris’ tap-in goal in the final seconds closed the door on the Titans (15-5-2), and the 4A Narrows League champions won their third state first-round game since 2009 with a victory at Silverdale Stadium.

The Titans cut it to 2-1 on Alexa Browner’s goal off a corner kick in the 64th minute.

South Kitsap (13-2) got first-half goals from Hailey Parker and Rachael Prince.

At Skyline 2, Tahoma 1: The Spartans (13-2-2) scored twice in the final five minutes of the first half, and the Spartans are now 12-0 in state first-round games with a victory in Sammamish.