Playing in the biggest game of the program’s short four-year history, the Bellevue girls water polo team fell against defending state champion Gig Harbor, 13-4, in the State semifinals on Friday night.
Perhaps due to big-game nerves, the Wolverines stumbled out of the gates and allowed four Gig Harbor goals in the first 3 minutes of the play. After a timeout to resettle, the Wolverines’ defense got back on track and did not allow a goal the rest of the period. In the second quarter, the Wolverines finally found the back of the net on a man-up goal by senior co-captain Maggie Ugelstad after freshman Jenna Frazer earned the ejection. Bellevue’s defense continued their strong play, allowing just two second quarter goals, including one off a botched reset that left one Tide player unguarded.
Entering the third quarter, the Wolverines found themselves trailing 6-1. More excellent defense by Ugelstad, Frazer, junior Morgan Baker and junior goalie Sophia Simons kept the Wolverines in the game. Unfortunately, Gig Harbor took advantage of a momentary lapse in defensive focus to score three consecutive goals late in the third quarter to widen their lead. Junior Morgan Baker scored twice to keep the Wolverines in the hunt, but the third quarter ended with Bellevue trailing 10-3.
In the fourth, the Wolverines maintained their defensive intensity while Ugelstad scored her second goal of the game. However, it was not enough as the Wolverines fell 13-4.
With the win, Gig Harbor advanced to the State Championship, where they face Curtis High School. Bellevue (19-12) moves on to face Mercer Island at 10:00am on Saturday morning, with the winner advancing to the 3rd/4th game at 5:00pm on Saturday evening.