In a battle of two evenly matched teams, there was a feeling that the Gig Harbor-Issaquah girls soccer matchup Nov. 12 would come down to who could score first.
Issaquah’s Annie Hoffman got her chance in the 57th minute.
Eagles senior forward Rachel Wheeler delivered a perfect pass, and Hoffman’s strike just got past Gig Harbor goalkeeper Aubrey Lindberg. The goal held up as Issaquah eliminated the Tides from the Class 4A state tournament 1-0 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. But the Tides were the aggressors in the second half, pushing the tempo and flying all over the place.
“We kind of forgot the surface was so slick,” Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell said. “We weren’t too sharp on our touches. With their pace, it caused us some problems. But we won the ball, then kept it in front of us.”
While the goal was the game’s defining moment, the scariest came in the beginning of the second half when Tides senior captain Kailyn Tovey and Issaquah’s Kaylene Pang collided head to head.
Tovey had to leave with the game with what was diagnosed as a minor concussion. It was a blow for the Tides.
“Kailyn is always a great part of our offense,” Gig Harbor head coach Dani States said. “Losing her speed hurt.”
States said it was frustrating to lose the way they did, and she questioned whether or not the ball crossed the line on the goal.
Still, she said 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,” she added. “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.