Sports

Mirror's 2005 all-city girls soccer team

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

The Thomas Jefferson girls soccer team took a huge leap forward this season. The Raiders won their first South Puget Sound League South Division championship since 2001 and made their first Class 4A State Tournament appearance in nearly a decade.

And things should only get better next year. Jefferson returns all 11 of its starters from a team that finished 16-3-0. Leading the list of returners will be Mel Hicks. The junior forward scored 20 of the Raiders’ 46 goals this season and was the clear-cut choice for the Federal Way Mirror’s All-City Player of the Year.

“Her stats were incredible,” said TJ co-coach Amy Sutherland. “She truly became our go-to player.”

“She’s a stud,” added Beamer head coach Carrie Boers.

Hicks uses a solid post-up game and can get her shot off in traffic with either foot. Hicks scored several of her goals this year by dribbling past a defender down the sideline and then rushing her way in front of the net.

“It’s obvious she is a very strong player,” said Federal Way head coach Jason Baumgardt. “She can pretty much do everything up front. She’s definitely a dominating player.”

The Raiders were also dominating during the SPSL regular season.

Jefferson outscored their opponents 41-7 before losing two of three games in the postseason.

The season-ender was a 3-2 overtime loss to Snohomish in the first round of the state tournament.

“Sometimes that’s just the way soccer works, unfortunately,” Sutherland said. “But I think it’s safe to say that with the majority of the team returning — pending fitness levels, no injuries, etc. — we will definitely focus upon improving where we finished up this year.”

Forwards

Jenna Peterson, Decatur — Peterson led Decatur in goals during the season with seven, including four in a 9-0 win over Graham-Kapowin.

Brittany Creek, TJ — The junior was a solid performer for the Raiders all season, scoring three goals and dishing out four assists.

Amanda Claunch, Beamer — Clauch tied for the Titan team lead with five goals, including two in a win over Graham-Kapowsin on Sept. 6.

Midfield

Bree Rowe, Federal Way — The junior is one of the best all-around players in the SPSL. Rowe led the Eagles with nine goals and two assists during the regular season and was also a first-team, All-SPSL South selection.

Kelsey Lusebrink, Decatur — The junior led the Gators in scoring with 12 points. Lusebrink tallied five goals and seven assists.

Kelsey Racicot, TJ — The junior was a big playmaker for the Raiders. Racicot tallied three goals and two assists from the midfield. She was also named first-team, All-SPSL South.

Amanda Murphy, Decatur — Murphy was a solid team leader for the Gators during their 8-6-2 season. Murphy scored four goals from the midfield.

Michelle Borth, TJ — Borth didn’t contribute a lot of points for the SPSL South champs (two goals, one assist), but she did plenty of the little things that help teams win. Along with Hicks, “she was our other key to our system running smoothly,” said Sutherland.

Brittany Orr, Beamer — Led the Titans with nine points, including five goals and four assists. Orr had two goals in a big 4-0 win over Emerald Ridge on Oct. 6.

Defense

Jordan Salisbury, Beamer — The sophomore can also play up front as a forward, but was a solid backline option for the Titans.

Nicole Peterson, Beamer — The defender was also pretty potent around the goal for Beamer. Peterson tallied four goals.

Brittany McKay, TJ — The junior was the rock of the Raiders’ back line. She took all goal and penalty kicks and has one of the better legs in the SPSL South.

Cayla Dixon, Federal Way — The Eagles’ center back held the Federal Way defense together all season. Was also a first-team, All-SPSL South pick.

Sara Byrne, TJ — The defender had five goals and an assist for the Raiders. She was also a second-team, All-SPSL South selection.

Rachel Thatcher, Beamer — Thatcher was the rock on Beamer’s back line all season. She scored one goal in a 5-1 win over Bethel and was a second-team, All-SPSL South selection.

Goalkeeper

Nikki Mills, Beamer — Mills has developed into the best goalkeeper in the SPSL South and had seven shutouts for the Titans, who finished up in third place before losing to South Kitsap at the district tournament. Mills gave up two goals in only one game during the regular season.

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

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