Gig Harbor 2, Olympia 0
(Olympia, WA) This early season showdown was important to both teams but maybe a little more urgent for the Gig Harbor Tides. The Tides and Bears came in all tied with 10 points with Bellarmine Prep but the Tides have played one more match and had a loss to the Lions. The Tides could ill afford to drop a 2nd match to one of the top 3 teams if they have their sites set on the League Championship. The Bears were looking for a win to separate themselves from the Tides.
In the 1st half the Tides came out attacking and clearly wanted to get a fast start on the Bears but the Olympia defense backline led by Mitchell Nee and Garrett Landers with keeper Matteo DelGiudice frustrated the Tides and kept them off the scoreboard. As the 1st half ticked down it appeared the match would head to the break scoreless until the 37th minute. Jack Sluys launched a 40-yard free kick right in front of the Olympia goal and it appeared to us that Andrew Cave may have headed it in but we were later told the ball actually went off a Bear for an own-goal and the Tides gladly took a 1-0 lead in to the half.
In the 2nd half the Tides again were looking to strike quickly and try to add a cushion to the lead handed to them in the 1st half. It would take some awhile but this time Andrew Cave would not miss after taking a beautiful lead pass from Chase Tovey and popped it past DelGiudice to the left post and in the 58th minute the Tides took a substantial 2-0 lead.
The Bears would have their chances including a break-away by Ibi Ceesay and just when he was about to shoot in a one-on-one with Tides keeper Travis Peyton, defender Ryan Stewart came from nowhere to knock the ball away from Ceesay likely saving a goal. The play stood out because at the time it would have tied the match and earned our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
Olympia’s Ian Hesse also had a strong game putting pressure on the Tides defense but just couldn’t find the right combination to punch in a goal. His effort was good enough to earn our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Player of the Game for the Bears, For Gig Harbor we loved the hustle and overall solid effort of Ryan Stewart to take the award for the Tides. Gig Harbor is now 4-1-1 in league play while Olympia drops to 3-1-1.