With a stout defensive effort all night, all the Puyallup offense needed on Saturday afternoon against the Gig Harbor Tides was one chance. That chance came late in the second half for the Vikings, when Puyallup sophomore Zach Munizza forced a Gig Harbor turnover and passed the ball to junior forward Brad Macdougall, who scored the goal with ease. The Vikings came out on top in the West Central/Southwest bidistrict match, winning 1-0 and claiming the No. 3 seed going into the state tournament.
“Zach pressed as hard as he could and he won the ball, and then just slotted me right in,” Macdougall said. “That's how we've been practicing.”
Munizza has been a swing player for the Vikings this season, and due to some injuries, has assumed a more prominent role for the Varsity squad. He's made the most of his opportunity, netting three goals and tallying four assists in the last four games. The Viking shut out the Tides, who have been held scoreless in their last two contests. Puyallup head coach Matt White was pleased with the defensive effort.
“I'm really excited,” White said. “We've had a lot of injuries. It's been new guys starting every game for the last six games, so it was nice to be able to get some solidity, and get guys organized together.”
While the Tides, the Narrows League 4A champions, didn't suffer from a shortage of shots on goal, their inability to find the back of the net is a concern for head coach Todd Northstrom. Northstrom said the Tides have lose their poise, which made them successful all season.
“We're making some really bad choices when we do have an opportunity in front of the net,” Northstrom said. “Selfish opportunities—we're not dropping the ball back to people that are running through and we're shooting these crazy angle shots that aren't going to go in.”
Puyallup will host Skyline on Wednesday night. Gig Harbor will go on the road and face Issaquah on Tuesday night.
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.