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Kentwood tops Beamer to win SPSL soccer title
The Kentwood Conquerors girls soccer team is once again the champion of the South Puget Sound League. And for the second year in a row, the Todd Beamer Titans were the victims in the title game.
The Conquerors defended their SPSL championship with a 3-0 win over the Titans at Federal Way Memorial Stadium Wednesday night. The win kept Kentwood’s record unblemished on the season (15-0-2) and earned them the SPSL’s No. 1-seed into today’s West Central District Tournament.
The loss dropped the SPSL South-champion Titans to 13-2-2 and earned them the league’s second seed into today’s district tournament. Beamer will take on the Tahoma Bears at 1 p.m. at Art Crate Stadium in Graham in a winner-to-state, loser-out match.
Wednesday’s matchup between Beamer and Kentwood was the third time the two teams have played in the postseason in the last two years. After losing to the Conquerors, 2-1, in last year’s SPSL title game, Beamer got a little revenge by beating Kentwood in the state quarterfinals, 1-0, in a shootout. The Titans went on to lose in the Class 4A state championship to Eastlake in a shootout.
Beamer just couldn’t get anything going on a rain-soaked Federal Way Memorial Stadium field. Kentwood goalkeepers Megan Walburn and Courtney Johnson picked up their 14th shutout of the year.
The Conquerors tallied their first goal of the game late in the first half when sophomore midfielder Kiana Kraft got a shot by Meghan Graf in the 37th minute.
The game stayed 1-0 until Kentwood racked up back-to-back goals 13 minutes into the second half. Senior Jolene Crook-Meyers knocked in a free kick from 30 yards out and Kraft scored her second goal of the game less than a minute later, heading in a loose ball to finalize the score at 3-0.
Today’s West Central District tournament will include teams from the SPSL and Narrows League with six berths into the 16-team Class 4A Tournament on the line.
Tahoma finished 8-4-4 in the SPSL North Division, which was good for third place behind Kentwood and Auburn Riverside. The Bears’ four losses came to Kentwood and Federal Way and they lost both their matches to Auburn Riverside.
Tahoma beat Puyallup, 2-1, at the SPSL Tournament Wednesday night to earn the league’s fifth seed into the West Central District Tournament. The Bears feature a defensive-minded team that has 10 shutouts during the season led by goalkeepers Kaila Wilkinson and Amber Woolcock.
The Tahoma offense has struggled to score goals against the better teams in the league. The Bears failed to score a single goal in four matches against the teams that finished ahead of them in the North — Kentwood and Auburn Riverisde.
Tahoma is led by seven goals from sophomore forward Mande McKinney and have six goals each from Savannah Johnson and Kaylee Osterman.
Beamer, on the other hand, doesn’t have much trouble scoring goals. The Titans have three players with 11 or more goals in junior Holland Crook (18 goals, five assists), senior Megan Miller (13 goals, eight assists) and freshman Breanna Straus (11 goals, five assists).
But the formally No. 1-ranked Titans, and three-time defending SPSL champions, have been sputtering in the final week of the season. Beamer is 0-2-1 in their last three matches, with losses to Graham-Kapowsin and Kentwood and a tie against Decatur.
The winner of the Tahoma-Beamer match will be the district’s No. 3 seed into the state tournament and will play at District 4’s top seed (Kingco and Greater St. Helen’s leagues) Nov. 11 or 12.
Jefferson 1, Decatur 0
The Thomas Jefferson Raiders won the most important match of the SPSL Tournament Wednesday night at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium when they beat cross-district rival, Decatur, in a loser-out game, 1-0. The two teams both placed fourth in their respective SPSL divisions and were playing for the league’s seventh seed into the West Central District Tournament.
The only goal of the match came in the 27th minute when TJ’s Lauren Jerde took a pass from Jasmine Sharpe and put it in the back of the net. Raider goalkeeper Liz Fitch made the goal stand by pitching a shutout in goal.
The win improved Jefferson to 8-5-3 and ended the Gators season with a 9-5-2 record. Decatur finished in a tie with Puyallup for third place in the SPSL South, but were forced into the loser-out game after losing a coin flip to the Vikings. If the Gators had won the coin flip, they would have earned an automatic berth into the West Central District Tournament.
The Raiders will now take on the Bellarmine Prep Lions, No. 1-seed from the Narrows League, at 3 p.m. at Mount Tahoma Stadium today.
Bellarmine (14-1-2) won the Narrows League championship on Tuesday night with a 1-0 win over Olympia. The Lions only loss of the season came against South Kitsap on Sept. 30 and they are currently on a 10-game winning streak.
Bellarmine has given up just six goals on the season and have shut out their last six opponents. The Lions’ offense is led by freshman forward Stephanie Hamilton, who has tallied 13 goals on the season. Hamilton scored the only goal of the game Tuesday in the win over Olympia for the Narrows League title. Clare Yearien and Taylor Swenson both have four goals.
The win over Decatur was Jefferson’s fifth win in a row and fourth shutout in a row. Jerde has also been hot during the Raiders’ late-season push. The junior has scored six goals in TJ’s final four matches and has eight on the season.
The Raiders are also getting solid offensive contributions from Kenna Friedman (five goals, three assists), Hannah Friedman (five goals, two assists) and Hayley Albrecht (four goals, four assists).
The winner of the TJ-Bellarmine game will earn the West Central District’s second seed into the 16-team state playoffs and host a first-round game Nov. 11 or 12.