PORT ORCHARD - Soccer is all about the pace of the match.
So when the Olympia girls team fell into a reactionary mode Thursday against South Kitsap in Narrows League play, coach Tessa Effland knew her team was in trouble.
"When you go out and react to the competition, they're going to keep the ball," she said.
South Kitsap (5-1-1 overall, 3-1 league) did just that as the Wolves claimed a 3-1 home win.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
"South Kitsap had a lot of speed, and they didn't get any shots off when we stuck Erin (Stehr) back there," Effland said.
The coach acknowledged she waited too long to move Stehr, a senior defender - the change came with about 15 minutes left, and South Kitsap already had broken a 1-1 tie when senior forward Caitlin Daniels scored in the 37th minute and again in the 43rd.
That hardly seemed to be the only issue for the Bears, though.
"We just didn't seem like we all wanted to be here," freshman midfielder Deidra Woodward said. "We had a really slow warmup."
Olympia (6-1-1, 3-1) likely fell out of first place, pending the result of Gig Harbor's match against Wilson. Woodward said the Bears' early success might have caused some complacancy within the team.
"I think so because we didn't have much trouble with the teams we already played," she said.
The Bears' only goal, by Natalie Daniels, came in the 21st minute and tied the match after South Kitsap's Ashley Polen had scored in the eighth.
Olympia's offensive effort tied for the Bears' season-low scoring output. The only other time Olympia has scored less than three goals came in a 1-1 tie Sept. 12 against nonleague rival Capital.
But that potent offense has Effland excited for Tuesday's match at Central Kitsap and Wednesday's home meeting against Gig Harbor.
"In this league, when you knock a couple in (within) the first 10 minutes, you're probably going to win," she said.
Woodward said the Bears have a better understanding of the challenges they will face in the Narrows after facing South Kitsap.
"It's a great learning experience," she said. "We can't come out like we know we're going to win."