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Decatur and Beamer play to 1-1 stalemate
By CASEY OLSON
Its well known that defense wins championships and pair of solid defensive sides were on display Friday night when the Decatur Gator and Todd Beamer Titan soccer teams got together for a crucial South Puget Sound League South Division match up.
The newly-developed rivalry ended with a 1-1 draw at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The ties were the first blemishes on both teams SPSL South records. The Gators and Titans entered the match at 4-0-0 and atop the South. They both now sit one point behind the 5-0-0 Curtis Vikings.
Friday nights game wasnt the prettiest to watch and got somewhat chippy at times. The rough play yielded a pair of ejections late in the game. Both teams had a player sent to the locker rooms with 20 seconds remaining after they exchanged shoves.
It was a tough game and starts our run of difficult matches to end the regular season, said Beamer head coach Adam Kulaas.
Decatur might have an easier run to end the season with their second consecutive SPSL South title. If Decatur wins out, they will claim the South title outright. Beamer needs a little help.
The Gators played a huge game last night against unbeaten Curtis (after press time), but then play their final three matches against teams with a combined four SPSL South wins. Beamer finishes with Emerald Ridge (1-3-1), Curtis (5-0-0), Federal Way (1-2-2) and Thomas Jefferson (3-2-0). The top-four finishes in the South advance to the league tournament.
Decatur was the aggressor much of Friday night, including most of the second half, but let several scoring opportunities go unconverted.
Decaturs defense really assisted in their ability to press offensively, said Beamer coach Adam Kulaas. Defensively, I thought my boys played well. Our transition offensively was lacking.
Beamer did get on the scoreboard first when Tyler Brighams shot was punched away by Decatur goalkeeper Taylor McCluskey, but Conner Edwards was in the right place at the right time with the follow to make it 1-0 in the 15th minute.
Decatur answered 15 minutes later on a goal by Ryon Stewart off a throw-in.
The second half started with, what looked like, the go-ahead goal by Decatur. Midfielder Ciaran OBrien headed a ball to Jmaar Aina, who put the ball in the back of the net. But the goal was waved off after Aina was ruled offsides. Decaturs Josh Norwood also had a solid scoring opportunity in the second half when he took a cross from Reymund Mills. His shot went wide left of the goal.
Decatur junior Princess Joy Griffey, the defending Class 4A 100-meter state champion, remained unbeaten this year by claiming the 100 at the prestigious 18th annual Larry Eason Invitational track and field meet in Snohomish Saturday.
Griffey broke her own meet record with a time of 11.92 in the preliminaries, then cruised to the win in 12.01 in the final. She has the state-best time of 11.8 this season.
Decatur teammate Becky Williams finished second in the 800 in a time of 2:20.88.
Beamer senior Mike Waller finished second in the 100 meters Saturday at the Bellevue Invitational in a time of 11.29.
The Decatur Gators took over first place in the SPSL South with a big 2-1 win over Curtis Thursday afternoon. Decatur sits 9-2 in the South. Rogers sits in second with an 8-2 record. Rogers downed the Gators, 5-3, in their first meeting of the season.
Senior pitcher Rachael Painter threw a complete-game, three-hitter and Kelsey Lusebrink and Kendal Nakashima knocked in both Decatur runs in the top of the seventh to overcome a 1-0 Curtis lead.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com