Community Sports

Sports Beat: Gig Harbor girls soccer scores 10 vs. Timberline

Posted on September 15th, 2023 By:

The Gig Harbor girls soccer team (3-0) played the Timberline Blazers (1-2-1) on Thursday, Sept. 14, at Roy Anderson Field, but the Tides did all the blazing. They fired flamethrowers into the net on their way to an impressive 10-0 victory to remain in first place in the South Sound Conference.

Junior striker Elise Miller scored a goal in Gig Harbor’s 10-0 victory over Timberline. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Timberline sounded determined when they broke the huddle to start this game as they were focused on knocking off the SSC powerhouse Tides. But by the end of the first half, the Tides led 6-0 and their opponent’s determination had turned to despair.

Timberline tried to control the ball and the pace of the game early, but the Tides had other plans. They attacked, intercepted balls and applied constant pressure on the Blazers, earning an indirect kick at the 32 minute mark. Tides head coach Katie Bennett called for Elise Miller to take the shot and the junior striker sent a hard shot slightly over the heads of defenders and into the top left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Just 20 seconds later, junior midfielder Kennedy Marler flashed through the middle and fired a shot past the goalie from 15 yards out for a 2-0 Tide lead.

Gig Harbor junior Cailey Ridgeway battles for possession in the second half versus Timberline. Photo by Bryce Carithers

The first time the Blazers got in scoring position, veteran defender Sara Ehler flew in to head one away. The Tides got the first 14 shots on goal before the Blazers got close.

Sage Sturrock then had the pass of the night as she sent a beauty across the middle to Elizabeth Hayes, who made it 3-0.

Sophomore Karin Heikkila had the Tides’ fourth goal at the 9:31 mark of the first half. The Tides turned 50-50 balls into 90-10 balls.

Floodgates open

Senior Sophie Blake got into the scoring column with an impressive 24-yarder just under the crossbar and the Tides had a 5-0 lead. Junior Cailey Ridgeway then demonstrated how tough you have to be to play soccer when a Timberline player launched a rocket ball directly into Ridgeway’s face from only eight feet away. Ridgeway bent over, staggered and fought back tears, but played on after a consult with the team trainer. The ball to the face was as stunning and certainly as jarring as any hit a football player will take in tonight’s Fish Bowl game.

Tides goalie Ella Conrad, who had time for a sandwich often, hadn’t had much action early but sprinted out to take a ball away from a would-be scorer as soon as it was necessary, in an impressive display of aggression. In the postseason, teams are only as good as their goalie and the Tides have a good one in sophomore Conrad.

Heikkila scored again on a pinball goal and then senior striker Kate Jones joined the party with a blast for the Tides’ seventh goal. Sturrock scored when Hayes made a series of quick moves to draw the defense, then laid of an assist for a 8-0 lead. Elise Miller blasted a perfect line drive from 25 yards out as the impressive shot made it 9-0 before Elizabeth Hayes got a goal after her relentless effort earned her the team’s 10th and final goal of the night.

Coach Bennett has a ton of scoring talent. With willing passers and stout defenders, this Tide team aims to win another SSC title.

They will certainly be a formidable opponent for any other Class 3A team in the state and after dismissing Central Kitsap earlier this season will now set their sights on a big match with reigning co-SSC champion Peninsula (3-1) on Sept. 26.

Volleyball: Peninsula starts strong

The Peninsula (4-1) volleyball team is fourth in the Class 3A Max Preps poll and enjoying a fine start, with their only loss to Class 4A Bellarmine Prep by a score of 2-1. Coach Katrina Cardinal led the Seahawks to second- and fifth-place finishes at the last two years as her program has earned the respect of many competitors.

The Seahawks had easy victories over Stadium, Orting and Sumner before losing the Bellarmine match. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the Seahawks opened SSC play with a 3-1 win over Central Kitsap in Silverdale.

Gig Harbor’s Lydia Ward (2) is surrounded by her teammates after a successful point versus Yelm. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Key players this season include senior Mackenna Moloznik, who is probably the SSC’s best setter with tremendous touch and placement with her sets. Senior Evalyn Sutherland is the team’s libereo and a fierce competitor who is dangerous with her jump serves and will dive on the floor to save a ball. Junior outside hitter Ziah Stevan is 6-foot-2 and can leap. She is a rally ender with fastball kills from high above the net and uses her length and timing to be one of the best blockers in the SSC.

Gig Harbor sophomore Hannah Artman hits a shot over the net versus Yelm. Photo by Bryce Carithers

The next contest for the Seahawks will be at Capital at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 19 before they return home to play Yelm at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 21.

Tides volleyball also 3-1

The Gig Harbor girls volleyball team (3-1) opened league action on Sept. 14 at home with a 3-0 blasting of Yelm. Gig Harbor has victories over Bainbridge Island and Kentlake by 3-0 scores but ran into a buzzsaw at Class 4A Curtis, losing 3-0.

Coach Slade Klein’s Tides placed second in conference at 11-3 in 2022 before making a run to state and finishing 16-7 overall. They gave the Seahawks all they could handle last year at home before succumbing 3-2. Klein’s team has plenty of returning talent to challenge for an SSC crown this season. The Tides and Seahawks face each other at Gig Harbor on Oct. 5.

Lydia Ward, a multifaceted player who can hit for power or make a precise pass, is among the key Tides. Ward could be Gig Harbor High School’s best female athlete and is one of those players who gives all-out effort every time she plays.

Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Artman is a 6-footer who is springy on blocks and capable of getting consistent kills. Energetic sophomore Payton Heim controls the court from her libero position and has the size, agility and timing necessary to be successful.

The Tides have road games versus league opponents River Ridge and CK next week before a home match against Timberline at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26.

GH tennis falls to Central Kitsap

The Gig Harbor boys tennis team’s (3-1) quest to repeat as SSC champions hit a speed bump in a 4-1 loss to Central Kitsap. The Tides’ third doubles team was Gig Harbor’s only win.

Gig Harbor is often near the top of the conference and will probably have to defeat the Cougars in the rematch to tie for the league crown.

They got back on the winning track versus Timberline on Sept. 13, winning 5-0. The Tides’ top singles player is junior Hugh Vincente, who was in command versus a talented Timberline player and won 6-2, 6-1.

Vicente used consistently flat ground strokes with pace to get his opponent out of position before going for crisp winners. He flashed an ability to get to the net when necessary and his quick reflexes were apparent. He has put in the work over the summer to improve as his service game and court coverage showed improvement from last year, when he primarily played doubles during a state run with then partner Rylan Coovert.

The Tides will be back in action on their home courts on Monday, Sept. 18, versus North Thurston and then will play crosstown rival Peninsula (1-0) at 3:15 p.m. Sept. 20.