Community Sports

Sports beat: Peninsula wins boys soccer rivalry game

Posted on April 15th, 2022 By:

It’s time for this week’s edition of the Sports Beat, a weekly capsule of the area’s high school sports highlights. We start with the game of the week, a pivotal boys soccer matchup between crosstown rivals.

Gig Harbor vaulted to the top of the South Sound Conference soccer standings on Tuesday with an impressive 4-0 shutout win over a talented Central Kitsap team that was the previous league leader. That win, combined with Peninsula’s 3-3 tie with River Ridge, made Thursday night’s matchup a battle for the league lead.

The Seahawks have beat the top teams in the conference and owned an early-season win against the Tides, but have stumbled against cellar-dwellers River Ridge and Yelm. Peninsula played to two ties with those teams, which are a combined 1-11-6 in the South Sound Conference.

The Peninsula Seahawks are ranked sixth in the state in Class 3A according to MaxPreps. Bryce Carithers

Tensions were high for this one, as boys soccer supremacy in the area was on the line. Any casual sports fan in Gig Harbor has noticed the countless soccer fields in the area, full of youngsters year after year. Many teams form with kids as young as 3 or 4 years old playing the world’s most popular sport.

Both Gig Harbor and Peninsula have numerous players who have played together and against one another for years on youth teams. This was much more than just a high school rivalry game. For some seniors, it was the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work.

Coach Joe Ross and his Gig Harbor teams have won at least a share of the league title in each of the past three seasons, but Peninsula has a talented team and is ranked sixth in MaxPreps’ rankings of the state’s top Class 3A teams.

The Tides started strong, controlling the ball, but were unable to finish on two early scoring opportunities against Seahawks goalie Yzahir Cornelio. In the 30th minute, Peninsula’s Justin Bodnar capitalized on a missed clearance to give the Seahawks a halftime lead and momentum.

The Tides again controlled possession to start the second half, but were turned away by Cornelio on two corner kicks and two free kicks. Peninsula protected its one-goal lead with a strong defense anchored by midfielder Sam Sutherland. Dylan Ladds scored off a corner kick in the 57th minute, allowing Peninsula to come away with a 2-0 win.

The Seahawks (7-1-2) now have the inside track to a conference championship, but still must play at Central Kitsap on April 26. The Cougars won the first meeting, 4-2.

If Peninsula stumbles again, the Tides could regain the driver’s seat. Gig Harbor (7-3) has four league games remaining, against teams they have outscored a combined 23-0 in earlier games.

The Peninsula Seahawks celebrate their 2-0 win over Gig Harbor. Peninsula High School

Peninsula baseball still atop league

The Peninsula baseball team (10-4, 8-2 SSC) continues to impress, defeating Timberline 12-1 to remain in first place in the conference. A second game this week was rained out and will be rescheduled.

If Peninsula can secure a second win over Timberline, they will control their own destiny for the conference title.

Gig Harbor (8-6, 5-4) split two games with Capital this week, beating the Cougars 10-3 on Tuesday and losing 15-5 in the rematch. The loss knocked the Tides back into third place in the league.

Peninsula and Gig Harbor will face each other in a two-game series April 26 and 27 to end the season in a series that could decide the conference championship.

Gig Harbor High School track results

While many sports took a spring break hiatus this week, the Gig Harbor High track team faced some stiff competition. The Tides were part of a meet involving 15 teams from around the region.

Some notable results for the Tides: Gavin Nash finished second in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 16:08. Ben Stevens ran a blistering 50.66 in the 400 meters to finish second, while teammate Nick Grover was fifth in 53.28.

In the field events, Ty Berry finished third in the 12-pound shot put at 44.65 feet. Luke McMahon was second in the pole vault with a jump of 12 feet. Kael Probst finished fifth in the long jump (20 feet, 7 inches), tied for the lead in the high jump (6 feet) and won the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 10 inches.