Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for an undefeated Bainbridge girls soccer team as they welcomed Sequim to Memorial Stadium Thursday night.
The Wolves, along with North Kitsap, are nipping at the Spartans heels in the race for the top spot in the Olympic League, and a victory would have gone a long way toward cementing their first-place status.
An early goal from sophomore midfielder Gabby Weis held up as Bainbridge controlled much of the run of play and defeated Sequim 1-0 to improve its record to 9-0.
“That was our goal,” Bainbridge coach Katie Drovdahl said. “Trying to be less reactive and trying to control the game.”
Like Bainbridge’s other teams, the soccer squad will have to finish in the top three in their league and c0mpete in a play-in game against the No. 5 team in the South Sound Conference to gain entry to the West Central/Southwest District 3/4 tournament — due to being a 3A school playing in a 2A league. With Thursday’s night’s win that is a near-certainty. The Spartans still have tough tests remaining against Port Angeles and North Kitsap before the end of the regular season.
“They have worked so hard for it,” Drovdahl said. “They have earned it, now they have to protect it.”
Weis’s blast from inside the 18-yard box for a goal came within the first few minutes of the match as Bainbridge immediately went on the offensive. “I was proud of how we came out and dictated the play of the game in the beginning,” Drovdahl said.
Defending a lead for over 70 minutes is a tough assignment against a good team like Sequim, but the Spartans continued to attack. Though they never found the insurance marker, the offense had several close calls. Senior Maggie Faye nearly had it as she corralled Laine Romney’s cross, which was bouncing around in the penalty area, but her shot was deflected away.
In the second half, Weis nearly sprung Ellie Murray on a break, but the defender managed to get a piece of Murray’s shot. A few minutes later, another fine crossing pass, this one from Faye, found its way into the danger zone, and Murray and Maya Fletcher both got cracks at it, but Sequim’s defense held strong.
In the 73rd minute, Avery Pujolar’s cross made it all the way through to the far post, and Fletcher nearly ran into it for the score.
Bainbridge only slowed down toward the end of the match as Sequim started to pick up momentum over the final 15 minutes, but ultimately never had a dangerous scoring chance. The Wolves tried a couple of long passes over the top, but keeper Ellen Owen raced out to sweep them up.