Sports

Jefferson heading back to state

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

It’s back to the Class 4A State Soccer Tournament for the Thomas Jefferson girls. The Raiders (16-2-0) downed Central Kitsap, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at Sumner’s Sunset Chev Stadium at the West Central/Southwest District Tournament. The victory puts TJ into the 16-team state tournament for the first time since 1997.

The South Puget Sound League South Division champions will take on the Snohomish Panthers at 6 p.m. at Sunset Chev Stadium tonight in the opening round of the state tournament.

Central Kitsap, the sixth-place team from the Narrows League, never really threatened Saturday against TJ. The Raiders got into the scoring column halfway through the first half when sophomore Amy Pate converted on a corner kick from Sara Bryne. Five minutes later, forward Mel Hicks made it 2-0 when she hit a perfect right-to-left swinger from 22 yards out to the left of Central Kitsap’s goalkeeper. The goal was Hicks’ 18th of the season.

Central Kitsap cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal with 11:46 remaining in the first half. But TJ sophomore Ashley Brough added an insurance goal in the 79th minute to make it 3-1.

Snohomish enters the Class 4A state tournament with a 14-2-2 record and finished as the Northwest District’s third seed after a 2-1 overtime victory over Shorewood last week in winner-to-state, loser-out match. Snohomish has developed into one of the top soccer programs in the state. The Panthers have been to the state tournament 13 times in the last 17 years, winning twice.

South Kitsap 4, Beamer 3 (Saturday)

The Titans (9-7-2) were knocked out of the postseason Saturday afternoon by the South Kitsap Wolves at Mount Tahoma Stadium at the West Central/Southwest District Tournament. It was Beamer’s first-ever appearance in the girls’ soccer playoffs.

“It was kinda bittersweet to go out like that,” said Beamer head coach Carrie Boers. “The girls played an excellent game, relentless from the start.”

The Titans dominated play for a majority of the game, but just couldn’t finish a bulk of their offensive opportunities throughout.

South Kitsap, the winner of the Narrows League Bridge Division, moved out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first half. Beamer’s Jordan Salisbury tallied the Titans’ first goal late in the first half to close to score to 2-1 at the half.

“We came out strong and dominated the first half,” Boers said. “South K got two opportunities and they put both in.”

The titans did fight back to tie the game at 2-2 early in the second half on a goal from Jessica Hunley, who hit a header over the South Kitsap goalkeeper. But the Wolves came right back and converted on a penalty kick to make it 3-2 after a South Kitsap player was fouled inside the penalty box. The Wolves added their fourth goal minutes later to take a commanding 4-2 lead.

Beamer’s final goal came from Brittany Orr on a direct kick from outside the box. But the Titans couldn’t convert on several opportunities to tie the game in the closing minutes.

“Five more minutes and I believe it would have happened,” Boers said. “But that’s the way it goes. It was an exciting game. We played well and never let up the pressure on their defense. They did a good job of taking advantage of their opportunities.”

Things look good for Beamer next season. The Titans will return eight starters.

“We still have a strong core heading into next season,” Boers said. “I think this core group is ready to take it a step further with the help of some key newcomers.”

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

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