Bellarmine Prep’s defense was out to prove something against Gig Harbor on Oct. 4. After being exposed in a 3-0 loss to Olympia two days earlier, the Lions stood strong against the first-place Tides, forcing a 0-0 draw to remain in the hunt near the top of the Narrows 4A standings.
“The result is very satisfying, but the performance is more satisfying,” said Lions head coach Joe Waters. “The girls played really hard. They came with a completely different attitude than they had in the last two games. And that’s what we needed, quite frankly, to get the job done.”
The Tides had several early chances, starting in the fourth minute with Rachel Ross’ header off of a cross that was stopped by the Lions’ defense and cleared. Celia Vaughn had a good look when she outraced Bellarmine’s defense down the field in the 16th minute, but Lions’ sweeper Rachel O’Connell slid at the last moment to kick the ball out of bounds before Vaughn could get a shot off.
“Everyone just came together as a team,” said Bellarmine senior defender Lauren Fricke. “We had a good talk yesterday about how we played in the Olympia game. We just had that positive attitude and I think it really helped out today.”
The Lions got their first good look in the 18th minute when a cross was deflected to the foot of midfielder Julia Rogers, but her shot sailed just over the bar. Bellarmine almost struck just before halftime as Hope Fleckner sent a threatening cross to the middle, but the Lions’ shot hit the post and the Tides cleared it out.
The Lions were the aggressor early in the second half, getting good chances on a free kick by Fleckner in the 42nd minute and a shot that sailed just over by Chanelle Pederson in the 51st minute. Bellarmine’s defensive effort was once again emphasized in the 73rd minute, as the Tides’ Kate Frame got free on the right side and drove a shot toward goal, but keeper Kiley Adams dove to deflect the ball off target.
“We didn’t defend well in the game against Olympia, and we were upset by that,” Waters said. “We’ve turned it around and we’ve shown that we can defend against a good team.”
The draw kept the Lions in third place behind Olympia and Gig Harbor, but Bellarmine will get another crack at each when they travel to Olympia on Oct. 25 and to Gig Harbor on Oct. 30, the final game of the regular season.