Sports

Soccer preview: Beamer looking to reload, others hoping to make playoff runs

Decatur senior Victoia Braun battles with a Sumner player during the Gators’ 9-0 loss Tuesday. The Gators return several players from a team that went to the Class 3A quarterfinals last year. - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Decatur senior Victoia Braun battles with a Sumner player during the Gators’ 9-0 loss Tuesday. The Gators return several players from a team that went to the Class 3A quarterfinals last year.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The Todd Beamer girls soccer program seems to always lose a lot of talent to graduation every year. But, like the over-used sports analogy goes, the Titans don’t rebuild, they just reload.

Beamer snagged its second South Puget Sound League South Division championship in a row and fifth in the past six years a season ago by finishing without a loss in league play (13-0-3). But head coach Joel Lindberg graduated nine seniors from that team.

“If this team can learn to play together and continue a hard-working mentality all season, we will be great,” Lindberg said.

Leading the returners is forward Jenny Hoefel. The senior was the Most Valuable Player in the SPSL South and first-team All-State a season ago after leading the Titans with 18 goals and seven assists.

“This year, she is a captain and will be leading the team,” Lindberg said.

Also back for Beamer are seniors Jenna Floyd, Kiele Bowman and Courtney Bogart, juniors Megan Anderson and Taylor Crace, and sophomores Chaise Cole and Kristen Falecki. Anderson and Floyd were both second-team, all-league selections last season. Anderson had seven goals and five assists, and Floyd finished with five goals and five assists.

The Titans will also count on some newcomers to make up for the losses of the nine seniors from last season, including sophomore Maddy Colson and freshmen Alyssa Nordman, Tivona Tinsley and Kacia Rogalla.

The Titans’ youth showed a little bit Tuesday night in their first SPSL South match of the season. Beamer lost to Puyallup, 2-1, after allowing two first-half goals. It was the Titans’ first league loss since a 2-1 defeat by Emerald Ridge on Oct. 9, 2009.

Jefferson

The Raiders just kept getting better as the season progressed last year. Jefferson started the SPSL North season with a 2-6-3 record before rallying to qualify for the West Central District Tournament with four wins in their last five matches.

Second-year head coach Lauren Gehring hopes to get the Raiders back into the postseason again this year. Gehring returns six players and also brings in a strong group of freshmen. She sees the 2012 season starting in a fairly similar fashion.

“I think we will start off a little rocky, due to injuries and how young we are,” Gehring said.

Offensively, the Raiders are essentially replacing their entire production from a season ago. Jefferson brings back players who tallied only four goals last year. The biggest of those losses comes with the graduation of forward Lindsay Dahl, who tallied 28 of TJ’s 41 goals in 2011.

The Raiders’ leading returning goal scorer is senior Chevay Warnes, who was second on the team with three goals a season ago. Warnes also finished with four assists. Jefferson also brings back seniors Nicole Goldingay and Shelsea Carrillo, junior Kendra Wallace, and sophomores Chentay Warnes and Katelyn Bird.

Jefferson will also count on talented freshmen Lissette Carpenter, Cassidy Lane, Kelsey Van Ogle, Samantha Cheever, Kellie Twitchell and Samantha Simundson.

Decatur

The Gators made a surprising run into the Class 3A state quarterfinals after starting the season 0-3-0. But Decatur lost a lot from last year’s team, including a pair to college scholarships.

Gone are the Gators’ two leading scorers from a season ago in Ashley Graves (13 goals) and Abby McFaul (four goals, five assists).

Head coach Christy Overby is going to have to break in several new players during the preseason, especially up front. Decatur returns only two goals from last year, one each from sophomore Sierra Shugarts and senior Lexie Gilbert.

The Gators started their season with a 9-0 loss to the Sumner Spartans, the top-ranked Class 2A team in the state, on Tuesday night. But Decatur played several freshmen and without three starters.

The Gators will count on seniors Victoria Braun, Shayla Shires, Taylor Meadows, Gilbert, Kelly McKlusky, Sydnee Patin, Caitlyn Meyers and Alex O’Neal, along with juniors Ericka Budinich, Bryanna Hammond and Maggie Hale to provide leadership during the early season.

Also on the varsity roster are sophomores Maggie Victor and Melissa Garcia, along with freshmen Lizzie Meyers, Rachel Wolf, Emily Shires, Breyanna Marshall and Kylie Miller.

Federal Way

The Eagles finished last year with a disappointing 5-9-2 record, missing out on the postseason in the SPSL South. Federal Way’s biggest problem was putting the ball in the back of the net.

The Eagles finished their 16-game schedule with just 25 total goals, and 18 of them came during four wins over Spanaway Lake and Bethel. Federal Way was shut out a grand total of five times.

But the Eagles return their two leading scorers from last year in sophomore Gabriela Pelogi and senior Bianca Arizpe. Pelogi finished with seven goals and two assists as a freshman and Arizpe had six goals.

Federal Way opened its season with a scoreless tie against Bethel on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Sarah Shimer picked up the shutout.

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