This match was really decided last week.
When the Olympia High School boys soccer team lost to Gig Harbor, it ended the Bears’ chances of a 4A Narrows League title and automatic state tournament berth.
That meant instead of playing at Bellarmine Prep for the title Monday, Olympia was locked into the third seed.
So coach Ty Johnson left all his starters in Olympia.
And the Bears had little chance without them, losing to Bellarmine Prep, 3-0, in the regular season finale.
Bellarmine Prep (10-1-2 overall; 9-1-2 and 29 points 4A Narrows) had far more to play for. With the win, the Lions passed Gig Harbor (12-2-2, 9-2-1, 28 points) to win the league championship and state berth. They also get a bye in the first two rounds of the 4A West Central District tournament.
“We have our district game (Tuesday) and this game wouldn’t do anything for us, so I just left all the starters home,” Johnson said. “They had captains’ practice and team dinner and went to bed early instead of getting home late.”
Olympia (8-5-3; 6-4-2, 20 points) will play Kentwood in its district opener at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Olympia played three freshmen on its back line in the second half, and though Brandon Pruett normally backs up Davin Johnson at goalkeeper, he more than held his own, saving seven good looks from Bellarmine Prep.
“It was shot after shot,” Pruett said. “You just have to stay focused. One of my good trainers, he always tells me to just stay focused on the ball, go to the ball every time.”
All three of Bellarmine Prep’s goals came on throw-ins, including Conner Thompson’s in the third minute off a header from Isaac Russell.
Thompson then sent a header into the box that was then headed into the goal by Kyle Casey in the 51st minute, and Robert Nurmi punched in the Lions’ final goal in the 79th.
“I was happy,” Ty Johnson said. “I was thinking it might be 8-0 or 9-0.”
And the starters should be well-rested for Kentwood.
“We should hold our own,” Johnson said. “They play fast. But we think we have a good game plan.”
Bears move to 19-0: Facing one of the area's more respectable teams in Emerald Ridge, Olympia head coach Matt Loes was realistic of his team's chances despite being undefeated.
"We thought we were gonna get beat," Loes said.
Pitcher Maddy Stensby took care of the Bears offensively and defensively for a 5-4 victory in eight innings in a nonleague contest against the Jaguars.
Down 4-1 headed into the bottom of the seventh, Olympia scored two quick runs early before the outs mounted up. With no outs remaining, Stensby hit a single to left center field to tie the game.
In the eighth, Stensby watched the Jaguars' go-ahead runner (in extra innings, a runner starts out automatically at second base) advance to third on a sacrifice fly.
Staying cool, Stensby struck out the remaining two with the team's undefeated season on the line. The Bears' offense took care of the rest.
Katherine Muegge singled in the game-winning run.