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Beamer-Kentwood: Once more for SPSL soccer title
What: South Puget Sound League Girls Soccer Tournament.
When: Tonight (Nov. 5)
Where: Federal Way Memorial Stadium and Sparks Stadium (Puyallup)
Games: Puyallup (South Division No. 3) vs. Tahoma (North 3), 6 p.m. at Federal Way Memorial Stadium (winner No. 5 to West Central Districts, loser No. 6); Kentwood (North 1) vs. Beamer (South 1), 8 p.m. at Federal Way Memorial Stadium (winner No. 1 to WCD, loser No. 2); Decatur (South 4) vs. Jefferson (North 4), 6 p.m. at Sparks Stadium (winner No. 7 to WCD, loser out); Emerald Ridge (South 2) vs. Auburn Riverside (North 2), 8 p.m. at Sparks Stadium (winner No. 3 to WCD, loser No. 4).
Beamer vs. Kentwood: It’s a rematch of last year’s SPSL championship match, which Kentwood won, 2-1, and it could also be the preview of the state championship match. Beamer has been the No. 1-ranked team in the state for most of the season before losing to Graham-Kapowsin last week. They were ranked as high as 14th in the nation. Kentwood has been right behind the Titans in the rankings all season and brings an unbeaten record (14-0-2).
Beamer (13-1-2) has allowed 10 goals all season, while scoring 64. The Titans are led by all-state forward Holland Crook, who has tallied 18 goals and five assists on the year. Senior Megan Miller and freshman Breanna Straus are also double-digit goal scorers. Miller has 13 goals and eight assists and Straus, a freshman, has 11 goals and five assists.
Kentwood rolled to the North Division title by giving up just two goals all season, including 12 shut outs. The Conquerors are led by the 10 goals of Chelsi Pennington and have eight girls who have scored at least three goals.
The winner will earn the SPSL’s No. 1 seed into the West Central District Tournament and will play the Narrows League’s fifth-place team Saturday at Art Crate Stadium. The loser will play the SPSL’s fifth seed at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Decatur vs. Jefferson: The two Federal Way schools play the biggest game of the SPSL Tournament at 6 p.m. in Puyallup. The winner advances to the district tournament and the loser’s season is done. Both teams finished fourth in their respective leagues. Decatur actually tied Puyallup for third, but lost a coin flip.
Jefferson (8-5-3) won their final four matches of the regular season to earn the berth into the SPSL Tournament, including a 1-0 win Thursday over Kentridge. The Raiders feature a very balanced offense and have had 13 players score goals. Lauren Jerde led TJ with seven goals and four assists and Kenna Friedman and Hannah Friedman both tallied five goals each.
The Gators (9-5-2) enter the postseason on a high note after playing to a 1-1 tie against the defending three-time SPSL South champion Beamer Titans in the final game of the regular season. Decatur is led by the 11 goals of freshman Ashley Graves and 10 from junior Rachel Markey. The Gators allowed only 14 goals this season and goalkeeper Kayla Lipston pitched eight shutouts.
The winner will take on the No. 1 seed from the Narrows League at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Puyallup vs. Tahoma: Tahoma (8-4-4) started the season with an impressive 7-2-1 record in the SPSL North, but struggled down the stretch. The Bears won only one of their final five matches and it came against winless Kent-Meridian. Tahoma’s offense includes five players who have scored four or more goals, led by Mande McKinny’s seven.
Emerald Ridge vs. Auburn Riverside: The two second-place teams both lost two league games. Emerald Ridge (11-2-3) is led by the 21 goals and nine assists of Audrey Sullivan. Auburn Riverside (9-2-5) had 11 different players score goals this season, led by Taylor Abrass’ six.
What’s next: The West Central District Tournament will be played Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium and Art Crate Stadium in Graham. The district tournament is winner-to-state, loser-out.