Offense was the highest in a high school football game for boys in the 3A District 3/4 Semifinal between Peninsula and Stadium.
In the first 64 minutes of the match, the match was a defensive stalemate. Neither team could break what the other was doing, but they were getting close. Shot balls from both Tigers and Seahawks were crawling closer and closer to the net. Some even started hitting the crossbar.
But in that 64y Minutes, a faulty pass from Peninsula young midfielder Dylan Ladds found its way into the possession of first pitch striker Owen Blissakis. After maneuvering around Seahawk’s defense, Bliskis chipped the ball past jumping goalkeeper Izahir Cornelio to score the first and only goal of the match.
The Tigers will maintain their 1-0 lead for the remainder of the competition, and advance to the county championship game against Bainbridge on Thursday.
“There was good possession in both directions. When the game started to look in the first 10 minutes, we started to know their structure a little bit and we started to get more dangerous in attack,” stadium coach Jeremy Levell said. little directions. They were dangerous and gave themselves some chances late in the game. But I think we were a little more dangerous at the crucial moment.”
From that point on, the momentum was in favor of the Tigers, and the defense held firm against the Seahawks’ relentless onslaught. There were, once again, a few balls nearby in the box that Peninsula couldn’t take advantage of. The field defense did their job and goalkeeper Sam Walter saved twice in a clean sheet performance.
“I knew I had to do my job, which is keeping the team clean,” Walter said. “As much as I want to be a part of what they do, I can’t be the biggest part. I have to rely on them, like I know they can count on me. I have to keep my calm because the calmer I am, the slower things will move.”
With the Tigers falling as deep as they did defensively, and especially after scoring their goal, this put a key in the Seahawks’ offensive strategies. It made it nearly impossible for the Peninsula to hack.
The Seahawks desperately tried to regain any kind of momentum, but the balls didn’t fall into the net as they wanted them to.
“The team was a little more desperate [after Stadium scored]. They tried to strike a balance. When that happens at the end of the match, it’s difficult to create the momentum to leave,” Peninsula coach Ozer Kojdemir said. “I am very proud of the boys, they kept trying until the end. We didn’t stop, we just kept going and I feel we could have equalized there in the end.”
The Tigers’ surprise win qualifies them for the finals as they compete for the county championship against Bainbridge Island at 7pm on Thursday, May 12th at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
As for the Peninsula, they will play in 3research and development/ 4y A game against a rival Crosstown Gig Harbor. Both teams know each other, they know what’s at stake, and how difficult the match will be. That match will be at 5pm on Thursday 12 May at Harry Lang Stadium.
No. 8 BAINBRIDGE ISLAND 0 (5), No. 5 GIG HARBOR 0 (4)
It took a full 90 minutes and a lot of penalty kicks, but the Spartans of Bainbridge Island are heading into the West Central District 3/4 3A Championship.
The tide defense nullified the speed of Bainbridge Island on the field and pushed away the long ball attack they love to play with. Instead of moving the ball in large chunks, Gig Harbor forced possession and made the Spartans unsure of where to pass.
“I felt good about my kids coping with them and neutralizing the major threats,” said coach Joe Ross. “They were communicating there. The nice thing about this group is that there are a lot of seniors. They know each other and played with each other. They trust each other. And when they play as a unit, they don’t give up a lot of goals. That was evident throughout the season as well.” .
There were plenty of missed opportunities on both sides to take the lead of late. Balls were inches from the goal on missed hits, or balls were incredibly well saved by Spartans first guard Caleb Sacks and senior Aiden Bartlett in favor of the tide.
When the referees blew the second extra time whistle, both teams lined up for penalties. Bainbridge Island would take an early two-to-one lead, but then Gig Harbor would return one point and lead 4-3.
After two shots by the Spartans and a tidal failure, the match was decided for the Spartans.
“That’s the most important thing, they learned to put it together as a team,” Ross said. “PKs are a 50/50 shot. The two mistakes we had came from players I was going to bet on [would make them]. This is the harsh side of football. We’re a mid-range seeded team, and that team should be in the top three in the state. We can deal with them.”
The tides will face their most famous opponent, the Peninsula, at 3research and development/ 4y Put the game down at 5pm on Thursday, May 12th at Harry Lang Stadium.