In the battle of two evenly matched teams, there was a feeling that the game was inevitably going to come down to whoever could score a goal first. Issaquah's Annie Hoffman got her chance in the 57th minute. Senior forward Rachel Wheeler delivered a perfect pass, and Hoffman took her strike. Gig Harbor goalkeeper Audrey Lindberg appeared to have the save, but the ball slowly slipped under her hands and just past the goal line, giving the Eagles the 1-0 win Tuesday night at Roy Anderson Field.
“Rachel dropped the ball in there, and I just smashed it,” Hoffman said. “I couldn't really see it. Somehow it got under there.”
The Eagles dominated time of possession in much of the first half. However, it was the Tides who came out the aggressors in the second half, pushing the tempo and flying all over the place.
“We kind of forgot the surface was so slick,” said Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell. “We weren't too sharp on our touches. With their pace, it caused us some problems. But we won the ball the kept it in front of us.”
While the goal was the game's defining moment, the scariest moment came in the beginning of the second half on a head-to-head collision between the Tides' senior captain Kailyn Tovey, and Issaquah's Kaylene Pang. Tovey had to leave with the game with what was diagnosed as a minor concussion and was unable to return, which was a blow for the Tides.
“Kailyn is always a great part of our offense,” said Gig Harbor head coach Dani States. “Losing her speed hurt.”
States said she was frustrating losing the way they did, and wasn't sure the ball had crossed the line on the goal. Still, her team is young and she was proud of the way they battled.
“They gave it everything they had,” States said. “When you give that much, it's going to hurt that much more. I'll take it. We're really young and I couldn't be happier with the way our season went, and getting to this point with a young team.”
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.