Bellevue 0-5 Gig Harbor
When the results go against you to this degree, writing the post-game recap is done mostly through clenched teeth. But as a program, we are dedicated to getting better and lessons are always more plentiful in defeat than in victory. So we watch the game film. The coaches discuss each breakdown in detail. We discuss formational options and player positions in those formations over and over. And in the final analysis, the facts are clear: in two consecutive contests, we've allowed three goals to be scored in the first 15 minutes of each game. In both games, we've been behind after only 6 minutes. Chasing the game for such a long period of time is inherently risky, and oftentimes leads to bigger gaps as we press to get equalizers, or even just a foothold in the match. So we need to make adjustments in order to stabilize our defensive organization and competitive attitude. We cannot be successful allowing easy early goals against us.
Yes, we scheduled what I consider to be the two best teams in the state in 3A. In order to keep aiming for sustained excellence, I strongly believe that a team needs to know where the bar is set by playing the best. And I knew that both Prep & Gig Harbor were the bar for 2018. So now we know. Many of the players we've faced in our first two games will be scholarship athletes at the college level...that's not an excuse for poor defending, poor organization, or poor coaching; but I do fully understand the degree of the challenge I gave to our varsity girls in pre-season. To be the best, we need to beat the best, and currently the best players are running past us and getting clean crosses into our box, or enough space to pick their shots on goal.
I'm not going to catalog each Gig Harbor score in this recap, other than to note that with the Tides' first two shots, they were 3-0 ahead after less than 15 minutes. We made adjustments to control their speedy wingers and the game settled down, but the damage had already been done. We had hit the iceberg and all that was left was the fiddling above decks as the ship slowly sank. Gig Harbor added two more late goals which were cruel to the scoreline as we had fought hard to get to some semblance of competitive balance. Again, like against Prep, we never quit, but chasing a game for so long against a talented team is going to leave way too many gaps at midfield and in our backline that eventually will get exploited.
Highlights: our substitutes gave us a lift from the bench: when Ally and Taylor came on in the first half Ally slid an inch-perfect ball diagonally through the Gig Harbor defense that Taylor shot squarely against the crossbar, so close; IssyS had a terrific block on a 1v1 to end the first half, and Isabelle stayed strong at the near post and blocked a ferocious shot in the middle of second half to keep the scoreline at 3-0 (at that point); Court & Claire were tough and determined in back; IzzyB found herself in (another) new position this year as she bravely played right back to help control the Tides' speedy left winger, and did a wonderful job. Our two freshman midfielders had solid outings (Halle & Kendall) in the middle as they moved the ball confidently against a very physical and quick GHHS midfield.
Our season officially begins on Tuesday away at Interlake. Interlake has started their season strongly, with a narrow 0-1 loss at 4A North Creek, and a 6-0 demotion victory against Renton on Saturday. The Saints are in the ascendency and we'll need our best performance to get our first win of the season and begin our Kingco league conference battle in a positive way.