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Snohomish bulls over Decatur, 6-2, in state quarterfinal match
By CASEY OLSON
The Decatur boys soccer team just didnt have enough for the Snohomish Panthers.
The Panthers (18-1-0) advanced into the Class 4A state semifinals Friday night with a 6-2 spanking of the Gators at Snohomish.
The Panthers tallied four goals in the final 12 minutes to advance to the Final Four for the fifth time in the last eight years. Snohomish entered the Decatur match as the ninth-ranked team in the nation.
But the Gators (12-4-1) played right with the Panthers during the first half Friday night, even controlling a bulk of the possession time in the opening 40 minutes with crisp passing.
Snohomishs first goal came off the right foot of Brandon Kelley just over 20 minutes into the match. Kelley, who ended up with a hat trick, hit a low ball from 25 yards out that squirted by Decatur goalkeeper Jaycob Waddle into the right side of the goal.
Waddle had been in the game for just over a minute after the Gators starting keeper, Sean Mackenzie, was assessed a yellow card after knocking into a Snohomish player.
Mackenzies yellow card was one of five issued to Decatur throughout the game, including a pair to state player of the year Ciaran OBrien.
The Decatur senior was ejected in the 68th minute of the game with Snohomish leading just 3-1 after arguing with the head referee following the Panthers' third goal of the game.
OBrien scored the Gators first goal of the game with two minutes remaining in the first half to tie the score at 1-1. OBrien tallied the goal on a free kick from about 40 yards out when he bent a right foot into the upper corner.
But it was all Snohomish after that. Kelley knocked in his second goal in the 44th minute to give Snohomish a 2-1 lead when he ran onto a long pass from Brandon Crutchfield and rolled in a sliding 15-yard shot into an open net while colliding with MacKenzie.
Kelley has 24 goals this season. Crutchfield, who has signed with Seattle Pacific University, has 17 assists and burned the Gators all night with long passes over their defense.
Jordan Dettmer scored in the 68th minute for a 3-1 advantage, Kelley in the 72nd and Crutchfield on a feed from Kelley.
Justin Cheff knocked one in during the 77th minute to make it 6-2.
Decaturs second goal came off the foot of sophomore Jamie Shivel with 4:45 remaining in the game.
The Gators and first-year coach Justyn Scholtz will be losing a lot of talent from the 2006 team.
Not only will OBrien be gone, but also starters Josh Norwood, Reymund Mills, Skyler Nakashima, and Brian Trantina. Norwood is headed to the University of Connecticut and Mills will attend the Air Force Academy Prep School in the fall.
Decatur, however, will bring back All-SPSL South first-teamer Kevin Day, as well as midfielder Kyle Estlick, Shivel, Eric Orozco, Will Brokaw and Sean and Scott Mackenzie.
Day was second on the Gators' team in goals with nine. Shivel chipped in four goals and an assist.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com