As a brutal part of their league schedule begins, Bellarmine Prep passed the first test, notching an early goal against Stadium and putting the game away early in the second half in a 3-1 win over the Tigers on Sept. 25 at Stadium Bowl.
“I thought we did really well,” said Lions head coach Joe Waters. “We put them under a lot of pressure, we were very energetic…we were getting in behind people and creating the opportunity to get crosses in, so that’s encouraging.”
Stadium keeper Jordan Sallee did a good job of stopping several of those crosses early, but the Lions got on the board in the 13th minute when Haley Lee was fouled in the box, and Julia Rogers converted the penalty kick to make it 1-0.
The Lions held possession in the Stadium half for a majority of the first 40 minutes, as Lee and Rogers controlled the midfield along with Kaylee Kebba and Hope Fleckner.
“Midfield is the most important area if you’re going to play soccer,” Waters said. “We kind of changed our formation a bit, and we’ve got to play a 4-4-2, and it seems to suit our personnel more. We can control the ball better. We still have a long ways to go, but we’re getting better at it.”
Holding the slim lead at the half, the Lions struck again in the 47th minute, as Rogers’ header off of a corner was deflected to Dani Nurmi, who calmly drove it in to make it 2-0. They sealed the win six minutes later, as Fleckner’s cross just outside the box found the head of freshman forward Alyssa McKiernan, who drove it past Sallee.
“Alyssa’s done very well,” Waters said. “She gives us a lot of energy and she leads by example up there. It encourages other people to run and work hard as well.”
The Tigers got on the board in the 74th minute, as Anna Inveen ran down a long chip forward and tapped it past keeper Kiley Adams.
The win put the Lions into an early tie with Gig Harbor for the league lead, as Bellarmine was set to host South Kitsap on Sept. 27 and Olympia on Oct. 2 before hosting the Tides on Oct. 4.
“We’ve got a lot of tough games coming up,” Waters said. “This week and next week is really going to tell us where we are.”
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