Sports

Auburn bounces Beamer out of tourney

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Right from the get-go, the Todd Beamer boys soccer team seemed to be in trouble Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 4A State Playoffs.

Just five seconds into the match, the undefeated Auburn Trojans had already put the ball into the back of the net. The Trojans took the opening kickoff at Auburn Memorial Stadium and one-touched a pass over the top of the Titan defense, resulting in a Nick Gadomskiy header over the outstretched arms of Beamer goalkeeper T.J. Young.

Gadomskiy was eventually called offside and the goal was erased, but it set the tone for the entire 80-minute match. Auburn (17-0-2) went on to dominate the Titans (11-5-2) to advance into the state quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory.

“Auburn is a good team,” said Beamer head coach Adam Kulaas. “They are well-conditioned and in high school athletics, hustle often conquers all. Their crowd was also incredible and playing on the field is a difficult task. At this stage, all of the teams are highly capable.”

The usually potent Beamer offense struggled all night long against the Auburn defense. The Trojans have allowed just four goals the entire season and have thrown shutouts in 15 of their 19 matches and were pretty much impenetrable Tuesday.

“(Their defense) is large in size, very good at clearing the ball and consistent in the air,” Kulaas said.

The Titans forced Auburn goalkeeeper Alex Peterson to make just one save during the game and never really had a serious threat on the Trojan goal all night.

Auburn tallied their first goal just seven minutes into Tuesday’s game. A free kick from 35 yards out bounced around the front of the Beamer goal before Trojan forward Brandon Arreola rifled a right-footed shot past Young from point-blank range.

Arreola also tallied Auburn’s second goal when he blasted a bending shot from 19 yards out midway through the second half after a poor clearing pass by a Beamer defender.

The Titans will return plenty of talent next season after finishing in third place in the South Puget Sound League South Division. Not only will Davis and Young be back, but also all-leaguers Brennen Hall, Ricco Sanchez and Dalton Thomas.

“They have not met all of their goals and will be eager to make their final run at a state title,” Kulaas said. “We as a team are committed to growth in the offseason.”

But Beamer and Kulaas will be forced to replace five seniors who basically built the Titan program from scratch three years ago. Gone will be forward Peyton Lane, midfielders Travis Elmquist, Tyler Brigham and defenders Joel Peterson and Taylor Lane.

“To choice into a brand-new high school that did not have seniors and was virtually an unknown in soccer was a risk,” Kulaas said. “The time goes so fast and all five of them have matured into amazing individuals. Whether they realize it or not, they will always be recognized as founding members of the Todd Beamer soccer team.”

Peyton Lane led the Titans in scoring with 14 goals and nine assists during the season and was rewarded with a first-team, All-SPSL South selection. Brigham was also a first-teamer in the middle of the field after scoring four goals.

“They have so many firsts,” Kulaas said. “They mean a lot to the program and while they move on in body, they will remain in spirit.”

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

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