Gators head to state; Raiders head home

It wasn’t pretty, but the Decatur soccer team came from behind for a win that put it back in the state playoffs.

The defending state champion Gators eliminated Bellarmine Prep with a 3-1 win on Saturday at Sparks Stadium.

Decatur played against Monroe last night at Federal Way Memorial Field in the first round of the state playoffs. If Decatur won, it plays on Friday at Federal Way Memorial Field against the winner of the South Kitsap versus Snohomish game.

In Saturday’s game against Bellarmine, the Gators found themselves down 1-0 after Bellarmine’s Adam West took advantage of a defensive miscue 10 minutes into the game.

But it didn’t take long for the Gators to get their feet back under them. Eight minutes later, Christian Scholze found Will Craig for the game-tying goal.

The Gators took the lead right before halftime when Kyle Colbath headed in a long throw-in from Scholze.

Decatur added another goal in the second half when Alex Chursky scored on a header off a corner kick.

The Decatur defense allowed just two shots all game.

Evergreen 4, Jefferson 3

Junior forward Chris Sanders scored three goals, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Jefferson soccer team into the state playoffs.

The Raiders were eliminated after a 4-3 overtime loss to Evergreen in Vancouver on Saturday.

“The better team lost. Anytime you score three goals on the road you should win,” Jefferson coach Darren Sawatzky said. “Chris Sanders was an absolute manchild and scored three goals. We had some holes defending that allowed them to tie the game. It went into overtime and they sent us packing.”

Evergreen took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Fish sent a 25-yard free kick inside the right post 15 minutes into the game. Jefferson tied the game a few minutes later when Sanders scored an unassisted goal from the top of the 18-yard box.

The Raiders took the lead when Sanders scored again from long range off a pass from Chris Henry.

Evergreen tied the game five minutes before halftime on another goal by Fish.

But the Raiders came back before halftime and took a 3-2 lead when Sanders scored on a penalty kick. Sanders scored 22 goals this season.

Evergreen tied the score 3-3 four minutes into the second half when Fish scored again on a long shot from outside the 18-yard box.

The game remained tied through the end of regulation, as Evergreen switched up its defense to try to control Sanders.

Evergreen’s Chris Sauro scored the winning goal with less than two minutes remaining in the sudden-death overtime.

It was the second game in a row that Jefferson had a one point lead, saw it disappear, and then lost in overtime.

“We really should have gone on to state,” Sawatzky said. “But we’re a young team and obviously the future bodes well for us.”

Jefferson finished with a 12-4-2 record and made a return to the playoffs after going 6-6-4 and missing the playoffs last season.

“Me and my assistant coach Brian Heigh are really proud of them and they shouldn’t hang their heads because they had a great season,” Sawatzky said. “To not make the playoffs last year and go all the way to the West Central District tournament, and finish No. 2 in the league behind the top high school soccer team in the state, Decatur, is a great accomplishment.”

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