The Gig Harbor Tides edged out the Kentridge Chargers 1-0 on Thursday night in a district game at Mt. Tahoma High School, thanks to a late Leahi Manthei goal. The two teams went back and forth the entire night, struggling to generate scoring chances, until the Tides got their chance. Senior Kailyn Tovey took a shot, which the goalie deflected to freshman Leahi Manthei, who punched it in on the rebound.
“I got the rebound, and that was pretty much it,” Manthei said.
Attacking the ball on rebound opportunities has been a point of emphasis in practice for the Tides, who have at times struggled with aggression this year.
“Our coach made us do plenty of drills because of our lack of doing it in other games,” Manthei said. “After a lot of practice, I learned to do it.”
Head coach Dani States said the aggressive play was the plan going on, wanting to keep Kentridge on their heels and putting themselves in position to score.
“They like to play the ball out of the back,” States said. “I told the girls, you have go after everything, even if it’s 10, 15 yards away, they have to know you’re coming. As soon as we know we have possession in the 20, we were just all in a foot race to the goal. I knew it was just going to be a rebound opportunity, but what it really came down to was just sacrificing your body and going after every ball, even if it’s not even near you.”
The defense shut out the Chargers, allowing them to float the ball around midfield but not get clean looks at the goal.
“The defense did pretty much what they’ve been doing all year long,” States said. “They were very composed, holding their line, just very patient. It doesn’t take much for them to just not break their line, so I was really happy with them, especially in the air. They didn’t let anything get through the middle. I really wanted them to hold their positions, hold their zones and not get caught getting chased outside, and they did a really good job of that.”
GIG HARBOR 1, CAMAS 0.
The Tides won the 4A WCD title and earned the top seed at state after beating Camas 4-3 in PK’s on Saturday at Mt. Tahoma High School. The regulation period ended with the score knotted at zero.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.