Sports

Beamer soccer blows into state tourney quarterfinals

By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror

The Todd Beamer Titans’ first foray into the Class 4A State Girls Soccer Tournament ended just the way they wanted it to — with a win.

The Titans (19-1-0) downed the Heritage Timberwolves, 2-1, Tuesday night at District Stadium in Battle Ground in the opening round of the 16-team state playoffs.

Heritage was also making its first appearance in the state tournament after winning the Greater St. Helen’s League Tournament last week.

Beamer’s Jordan Crook scored from almost 30 yards out in the 62nd minute of the game Tuesday night to break a 1-1 tie and send the Titans into the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Beamer took on a familiar foe last night with a spot into the state semifinals on the line. The Titans faced the Kentwood Conquerors at French Field in Kent.

Friday night’s matchup with the Conquerors offered the Titans a little bit of revenge. Kentwood handed Beamer its only loss of the season in the South Puget Sound League Championship game. The North Division champion Conquerors downed the Titans, 2-1, to claim the league’s No. 1 seed into the postseason. The win not only gave Kentwood the SPSL title, but also meant the team would host Friday’s state quarterfinal game at French Field.

The loss to Kentwood was the first time this season that a team had scored more than one goal on the Titans’ defense. Beamer dominated the SPSL South Division during the regular season by outscoring its opponents 71-3 with 13 shutouts.

The Class 4A State Girls Soccer Tournament semifinals will be played Friday night at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. The Beamer-Kentwood winner will take on the winner of a match between defending state champion Woodinville and Snohomish at 8 p.m. Friday.

Against Heritage, the Titans took the early lead when Jordan Salisbury tallied a first-half goal in the 30th minute on a pass from sophomore Holland Crook. Salisbury, who has already committed to play next season at Seattle University, has scored a goal in each of Beamer’s last two matches.

Salisbury tallied the only goal during the Titans’ West Central District win over Jefferson last weekend.

But the lead didn’t last long. Heritage’s Lateashea Currie scored an unassisted goal in the 38th minute to tie the match.

Beamer was more aggressive on offense and took more shots, but Heritage just missed on a couple of its chances.

In the first half, Currie shook off her defender, faked Beamer goalkeeper Maia Kurnik and crossed the ball to Chenelle Smith. With Kurnik out of position, Smith kicked the ball toward the empty net. But Beamer defender Kaylee Huie got to the ball just before it crossed the goal line and kicked it out of bounds.

In the second half, with the match tied, Currie got herself free again and fired a left-footed shot that glanced off Kurnik’s hands, and then the ball hit the post before ricocheting out of the goal box.

But the Titans also had their chances at putting the game away earlier. The talented Beamer offense pressured Heritage goalkeeper Natalie Harold all night long and forced her to make five saves.

The Titans also had several shots fly wide or over the top of the Timberwolves’ goal.

The match appeared to be heading to overtime until Jordan Crook took a back-tap pass from Brittany Orr and launched a perfectly placed shot from 28 yards out that banged into the top-right corner of the net.

The goal was only Crook’s third of the season.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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