Bremerton girls get season started with confidence boosting win

There were a few tears shed, a bunch of hugs and a batch of brownies to pass around Monday night as the Bremerton girls soccer team started its season with a 1-0 non-league win against Klahowya.

“We just wanted to come out and play tough and together,” said new coach Anna Harlan after she received congratulatory hugs from Bremerton athletic director Larry Gallagher and former girls’ soccer coach Lance McCoy. “This win was the girls’. They ran the show tonight, making substitutions where they had to.”

It was Bremerton’s first win since the 2001 season. They were 0-15-1 in 2002.

The Class 4A Knights were aggressive on offense early against the Class 2A Eagles and it paid off when Madison Rathburn knocked in a goal off a Sarah Gross’s corner kick in the 13th minute past Klahowya freshman keeper Karina Ellis. Sarah Doyle was credited with an assist on the play.

The Eagles tried numerous time to break the tie, outshooting the Knights 20-6 — including an 8-shot flurry during the game’s final 7 minutes.

Lindsey Beahm, playing keeper for the Knights in place of injured starter Tara Richardson, was brilliant in the net with 16 saves.

“I’m so proud of her to step up when we needed her,” Harlan said. “She’s short, but she’s a very tough gal.”

At 5-foot-3 1/2, Beahm isn’t your typical imposing keeper. Yet that didn’t keep the junior from making the play of the game.

With 8 minutes, 21 seconds to go in the first half, senior Klahowya midfielder Laura Dana shot an arcing penalty kick over the Knights’ defensive wall that looked like a sure-fire goal.

Instead of going in the net, Beahm jumped up and was able to get just enough of a touch on the ball to send the shot over the top of the goal.

“I sure surprised myself,” said Beahm, who normally plays as a defender or midfielder. “I jumped up as high as I could.”

As Beahm sat back in the goal, she said she was able to witness somethings from her teammates that she didn’t expect.

“I wasn’t sure about our inside-outside passing abilities and we did great,” Beahm said.”As for the seniors who have been with this team the past two seasons (where the Knights had a combined record of 2-29-1), this game boosted their confidence. They were actually thinking it was possible to win rather than lose.”

Could there actually be optimism in Memorial Stadium?

“This is going to be the first of many wins for this team,” Harlan said. “The only thing we’re going to do is get better.”

Bremerton opens their Bridge Division season with a 7 p.m. home game Tuesday against Gig Harbor.

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