Jefferson blanks Gators again


Sports editor

The Thomas Jefferson soccer team proved its first victory this season over the Decatur Gators was no fluke. The Raiders blanked Decatur 1-0 Wednesday night at Federal Way Memorial Field –– their second victory over the Gators this season.

Jefferson snapped Decatur’s 45-match unbeaten streak March 21 with a 2-0 shutout of the two-time defending state 4A champions.

“They are a very solid team,” said Jefferson coach Darren Sawartzky.

The win improved Jefferson to 7-0-1 and kept them in a virtual tie with Curtis for first in the South Puget Sound League’s South Division. Decatur (5-2-1) remains well-entrenched in the third and final playoff spot in the South. Bethel sits in fourth place with a 4-3-1 record.

The only score Wednesday came in the 52nd minute when the Gators turned the ball over in the midfield. Jefferson senior Stephen Mohn touched a pass to forward Chris Sanders, who hit Ricky Getchell. Getchell then sent a shot past Decatur goalkeeper Kyle Bressler to put the Raiders up.

“It’s really nice to beat those guys,” said Sanders. “They’ve kind of beat us up the last few years.”

Jefferson keeper Matt Anderson picked up another shutout. The senior was credited with three saves.

Wednesday’s victory was the seventh shutout of the season Anderson has been a part of. The only goal the Raiders have allowed in SPSL play came during a 3-1 victory over the Emerald Ridge Jaguars.

BThe Gators’ young attackers couldn’t shake the Jefferson defense all night. Decatur started to control more of the play in the latter part of the second half, but it was too late. Jefferson outshot Decatur 11 to 10 on the night, however, none of the shots really threatened the goal.

The Gators’ lineup is littered with underclassmen, including three freshmen in the starting group. They host fourth-place Emerald Ridge on April 16 and travel to Curtis on April 18.

“They are young, but they have two ninth-graders who are the best in the state.”

Sawartzky is talking about Ciaran O’Brien, who is Decatur’s leading scorer this season, and Josh Norwood. O’Brien is the younger brother of Lleyton O’Brien, a veteran of the Seattle Sounders – like Sawartzky.

The Raiders look to have a pretty clear path in the SPSL South until they take on Curtis in their final game of the regular season May 9.

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