Sports

Federal Way falls short in state title match

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

It was a fairy tale season for the Federal Way boys soccer team.

The Eagles (16-2-4) went from not even sniffing the postseason last year during a 4-7-4 campaign in 2006 to playing in the school’s first-ever Class 4A State Championship game.

But the fairy tale didn’t end the way most do.

The Pasco Bulldogs (20-1-0) came back to down the Eagles, 4-3, Saturday night at Lakewood’s Harry Lang Stadium in the state final. Twice in the match, the Eagles held a one-goal lead and both times the Bulldogs rallied to tie the match before Shayne Kelly hit a right-footed blast from 30 yards out that squirted under Eagle goalkeeper Vinton Lane to give Pasco the win.

“It hurts,” said head coach Jason Baumgardt. “We got outworked tonight. Hopefully, they learned their lesson.”

Despite the loss, the future looks ultra-bright for the Eagles. Federal Way will return eight of its 11 starters, including leading scorer Kelyn Rowe, who finished with 14 goals and 13 assists.

“It does in a way, but you never know what’s going to happen,” said junior sweeper Omar Cruz, the South Puget Sound League North Division Most Valuable Player.

Before the season started, the young but talented Eagle squad had a modest goal of just reaching the postseason. In no way did Baumgardt expect his team to win the SPSL title and make a run into the state championship game.

“It was unbelievable,” Baumgardt said. “I honestly thought that we were a year off. We have nothing to hang their heads about.”

“We just wanted to make the playoffs,” said Cruz. “We had a bit of talent last year and we had a little more this year. When we started winning, it slowly opened our eyes.”

Pasco opened the scoring Saturday night in Tacoma with a goal from Eddie Mendoza in the 19th minute. During a scramble in front of the Federal Way goal, Lane fouled Pasco’s Bryce Wilson, who fed Mendoza the pass.

Five minutes later, Rowe sprinted downfield, outrunning Pasco defenders — one who fell down — and beat Pasco goalkeeper Emmanuel Martinez for a 10-yard shot into an open net.

Rowe struck again just before halftime to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead at the break on a header after a perfectly played left-footed cross by Derek Paulino.

But Federal Way’s lead didn’t last long. Pasco tied the game back up at 2-2 on a Federal Way miss play in the 51st minute, when Bulldogs forward Alfredo Farias found the ball in front of an open goal for a 6-yard tap-in.

Five minutes later, Lalo Moralles, one of three Federal Way players who served a red card suspension during their 4-0 semifinal win over Cascade the night before, outran his defender after he collided with Federal Way forward John Mono near midfield. Moralles dribbled the ball into the penalty box and wrapped the ball around Martinez with his left foot.

But Wilson and Kelly, Pasco seniors who were part of the team that lost the 2005 title match to Thomas Jefferson, tallied the game-tying and winning goals in the final 20 minutes of play.

Wilson scored off a rebound in the 61st minute to tie it before Kelly banged in the winner in the 67th minute.

“They knew coming into this match that they hadn’t won anything yet,” Baumgardt said. “They have been used to it all year long. I just don’t think they came out and expected they would have to work that hard on every ball. (Pasco) is fast.”

Federal Way 4, Cascade 0 (Friday)

The Eagles rolled over the Bruins in one semifinal Friday night in Lakewood. The win meant Federal Way would play for its first-ever soccer state championship.

It was the Christian Munoz show against Cascade. The junior forward tallied a hat trick for the Eagles.

Munoz scored an unassisted goal in the 20th minute, a 10-yard shot that slowly rolled inside the goalpost out of reach from Cascade goalkeeper Derek Weigelt.

About 10 minutes later, Munoz tallied his second goal of the match when he knocked in a rebound past Weigelt after he failed to hold John Mono’s bicycle kick from just inside the penalty box for Federal Way.

Junior Murphy Campbell headed the ball over Weigelt at the 46th minute for the Eagles’ third goal, and Munoz finished off his hat trick in the 54th minute to give Federal Way an insurmountable 4-0 lead.

The Eagles’ constant offensive pressure frustrated the Bruins down the stretch. Cascade received five yellow cards in the second half, and played the final 15 minutes one man down after junior defender Michael Janner received a red card for taking down Federal Way’s Derek Paulino on a hard tackle.

Lane was spectacular in the net for the Eagles all night long in earning the shutout, including several diving saves.

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