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Beamer bowls over Bears at SPSL Tourney; Decatur falls to Auburn Riverside
By CASEY OLSON
The road to the Class 4A State Boys Soccer Tournament is a very familiar one for the Todd Beamer Titans.
But the Titans (10-4-2) are hoping their trip down that road lasts a little longer this time around. For the second year in a row, Beamer faced the Tahoma Bears (11-4-2) at the South Puget Sound League Tournament Wednesday night. But unlike last year, the Titans beat the Bears. The 2-1 win earned Beamer the SPSL's No. 5 seed into today's West Central/Southwest District Playoffs, where they will face the Stadium Tigers at 4 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School in a winner-to-state, loser-out match.
Stadium (8-4-4) ended the Titans' season last year with a win at the district tournament.
"It's the same playoff scenario as last year," said Beamer head coach Adam Kulaas. "We just need to believe that we can continue to win games."
Beamer had that feeling Wednesday night against Tahoma in the battle between the two third-place teams from the North and South divisions. The Titans picked up a pair of first-half goals from their two leading scorers, Peyton Lane and Sean Davis, and got an impressive performance in goal from T.J. Young.
Lane's goal, his 14th of the season, came 16 minutes into the match on a pass from Ricco Sanchez. Davis' 13th goal came just 12 minutes later on a pass from Lane. Tahoma's lone score came six minutes after halftime from Evan Denmark.
"It was a balanced attack from the defense and the forwards," said Kulaas. "They balanced the responsibilities and T.J. Young was incredible. Tahoma is a good team. They are well coached and are very consistent in their play."
The West Central/Southwest District Tournament has been the end of Beamer's season for the last two years. Stadium knocked the Titans out last year with a 2-0 win at districts and the eventual state-champion Bellarmine Prep Lions ended Beamer's season in 2004 with an overtime win.
"These boys have grown up together and are on the verge of playing at an elite level," Kulaas said. "We have had our growing pains and have done the work."
Auburn Riverside 2, Decatur 1
The Gators (11-3-1) couldn't get it done at Wednesday night's SPSL Tournament. The Auburn Riverside Ravens tallied two-straight goals to overcome a 1-0 Decatur lead at Maple Valley's Tahoma High School in a battle between the second-place teams from the North and South divisions.
The Gators took the early lead when senior Ciaran O'Brien tallied his 11th goal of the season just 3:51 into the match. But the Ravens tied the game 15 minutes later on a goal by Matt Zeman.
The game-winner came from Jeff Loomans in the 68th minute.
The loss means Decatur will be the SPSL's fourth seed into today's West Central/Southwest District Tournament. The Gators will take on North Kitsap at 10 a.m. at Mount Tahoma in a winner-to-state, loser-out match. North Kitsap (10-2-1) finished second in the Narrows League Bridge Division. But North Kitsap was beaten by Stadium in the Narrows League Tournament and hasn't played at state since 1986.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com