PORT ANGELES — Travel back to the fall of 2019 and a freshman making her first start in Port Angeles’ girls soccer’s first game of the season against Class 3A Bainbridge.
With the team walking to the locker room at halftime, coach Scott Moseley made sure to take that freshman, Anna Petty, to the side and delivered an impressive compliment.
“I made sure I said to her that’s the best half from a freshman I’ve ever seen,” Moseley said. “We’ve had freshman who have started and earned four year varsity letters, but nobody who contributed like that right from the start.”
And there’s been no drop off for the now-junior Petty, whose performance as Port Angeles’ defensive central midfielder powered the Riders’ stingy defensive performances and fueled some offensive fireworks with eight goals and five assists for the Class 2A State Tournament-bound squad.
“Most of her goals were from long range, the banger type of goal, long powerful shots,” Moseley said.
Petty has been selected as the Peninsula Daily News’ All-Peninsula Girls Soccer MVP in voting conducted by area coaches and the sports staff of the newspaper.
“She goes from our penalty box to the opposing penalty box, so you must be fit, a good defender, a good midfielder, a good forward, and her play encompasses that,” Moseley said. “She’s probably one of the best defensive center mids we’ve ever had.”
It’s the relentless nature of her play that stands out each time she’s on the field.
“The way I approach the game, I really like playing with intensity,” Petty said. “I like playing aggressively and I think that’s obvious. It’s almost like controlled chaos, to play with intensity you have to play inside yourself and find a balance to not over do it.”
Many times during the season Petty would receive praise in Moseley’s postgame recaps. Quotes like “Nothing really got by her all game — a dominating effort by her tonight,” or “[Petty] stopped a number of attacks with slide tackles and smart defense.”
Petty also is as determined to have fun while playing the game.
“She plays joyfully and plays with a smile,” Moseley said. “She enjoys the game and it’s obvious. She’s supportive of the team in where she plays, and always has a team-first mentality.”
Moseley said Petty’s teammates turn to her for cues.
“People look to Anna for clues on what to do on the field and at practice,” Moseley said. “She’s lighthearted, she likes to work hard and have fun and that’s a good combination.”
This year, Petty and her teammates took pride in how they performed without graduated all-time leading goal scorer Millie Long, earning the team’s third straight Olympic League title and advancing through districts to the state tourney.
“I think we showed that we can hold our own,” Petty said. “Millie was a great player and we valued her abilities always, but we felt we were a legit group of players.”
And even with a golden goal loss in overtime against Burlington-Edison, Petty was proud.
“I really liked how our season ended because that was the No. 2 seed and we competed so well against them,” Petty said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it to end another way. No one was really down on ourselves because we knew we had proven that we belonged there.”
And with a year left in her high school career, Petty can continue to prove that she belongs playing soccer at the next level.
“I’d love to do that, it’s my ultimate goal to further my soccer career,” Petty said.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected]