The key goal in a match between top-tier teams in the 4A Narrows League will never have a name next to the scoring credit.
Gig Harbor broke the seal on a scoreless first half with what was credited as an Olympia own goal in the 37th minute.
The Tides went on to add a single goal in the second half for a 2-0 victory over the Bears on Tuesday night at Ingersoll Stadium. The victory keeps the Tides (6-1-1 overall, 4-1-1 in 4A Narrows play) at least tied at the top of the league.
On the own goal, Gig Harbor sophomore midfielder Chase Tovey appeared to get his head on the ball at almost the same time as Olympia defender Andre Hoang and Bears keeper Matteo DelGiudice — and by whatever means, the ball looped into the net.
“We get one goofy goal, and then we start playing better,” Gig Harbor coach Todd Northstrom said. “Any goal that we can get kind of stabilizes us a little bit.”
“When you get the ball deep in the box,” Olympia coach Ty Johnson said, “anything can happen.”
Senior forward Andrew Cave gave Gig Harbor a 2-0 second-half cushion that stood as the final score on an assist from Tovey in the 58th minute.
Through most of the first half, the best tries on goal had all belonged to the Tides, and DelGiudice needed three outstanding saves — one on a point-blank punch by Tovey — to keep the Bears close.
Tides midfielder Ryan Stewart made a critical defensive play late in the first half, taking off at full sprint to get a toe on the ball to stymie what would have been a one-on-one breakaway try by speedy Bears sophomore Ibi Seesay.
Olympia (4-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 4A Narrows) plays next at Bellarmine Prep, another team with 4A Narrows title aspirations, on April 12.
“Every game is important to pick up a point or three,” Johnson said.
The Tides next play at Yelm, winless in 4A Narrows play, on Thursday.
“One of the hardest parts of the job is to convince high school boys they can’t let down,” Northstrom said.