High School Sports

Price, defense help Bellarmine Prep hand Gig Harbor first league loss

Ashley Price may be just a freshman for Bellarmine Prep, but she has the green light to shoot when she sees fit. She took full advantage of it Thursday.

Price lofted an improbable shot from the left sideline into the top right corner of the Gig Harbor goal with 13 minutes left in the second half for the game’s only score and handed Gig Harbor its first league loss, 1-0.

“I just got the ball dropped back to me, saw the top right corner of the goal and took a shot,” Price said.

No, it wasn’t a cross that happened to float into the goal, by accident.

“It was a shot,” Price said, with a laugh.

Bellarmine coach Joe Waters is getting used to these types of goals from his confident freshman.

“Actually, she did the same thing in the game on Tuesday against Olympia,” Waters said. “She scored two goals in about a minute. One was from the exact same position — same trajectory, same spot. She’s great.”

Bellarmine’s (8-2-2, 7-1-2 league) defense bent, but it never broke. The back line, anchored by senior center back Emily Nelson, stifled Gig Harbor’s attack. Gig Harbor’s best scoring chance came on a counterattack when Tides’ senior Leahi Manthei laid the ball off for junior Kaysie Bruce, but Bellarmine keeper Isabelle Davis — another freshman — made the save.

“Their goalkeeper played a great game,” said Gig Harbor coach Stephanie Cox. “Credit to them, they played a great game.”

The final result didn’t matter much — Gig Harbor (11-3-1, 10-1-0) had clinched the 4A Narrows League title before the game started — but Waters said he hopes the momentum carries into the postseason.

“I told them at halftime this was a playoff-caliber game, and this is what we need to be prepared for,” Waters said. “All around, it was just a fantastic performance from our girls and one we’re really proud of.”