Sports

Jefferson soccer snags SPSL North title with 2-0 win over Kentridge

Thomas Jefferson’s Jason Minerich (right) fights for the soccer ball with Kentridge’s Esteban Tobon during their game Friday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The Raiders won the game, 2-0, on a pair of Ernan Roman goals and the SPSL North Division title.  - Charles Cortes/For the Mirror
Thomas Jefferson’s Jason Minerich (right) fights for the soccer ball with Kentridge’s Esteban Tobon during their game Friday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The Raiders won the game, 2-0, on a pair of Ernan Roman goals and the SPSL North Division title.
— image credit: Charles Cortes/For the Mirror

By ERICK WALKER

ewalker@kentreporter.com

Emotions were elevated Friday afternoon for the Kentridge High boys soccer team.

Maybe too much.

Behind a pair of goals from senior forward Ernan Roman, Thomas Jefferson turned back the Chargers, 2-0, at Federal Way Stadium to claim the South Puget Sound League North Division title. Kentridge (10-3-3 with 33 points) came into the early afternoon game with a chance to secure its first North Division title since 2003.

Jefferson (11-2-3, 36 points) essentially received all the offense it needed in the 33rd minute, when Roman took a pass in the middle of a crowd of defenders from teammate Jason Minerich. Roman turned and put just enough behind the shot from 10 yards out to get it past Kentridge goalkeeper Alex Ferguson, who aggressively came out of goal to snuff out the attempt.

“We had the guys there, we just weren’t in position,” said Ferguson, who will play football next year at Hamline University in Minnesota. “I wasn’t ready for the shot. There were two mistakes that cost us.”

The biggest mistake of all, however, might have been the high-level of emotion that Kentridge played with throughout.

“We wanted it, I think, a little too much,” Ferguson added. “We played a little too emotional. We let it get in our heads. We have to bounce back and take it to whoever we play next.”

It’s Jefferson first league crown since winning the SPSL South in 2004.

And the Raiders have an impressive performance from Roman and a stingy job in goal by Brian Bosshart to thank for it.

“Here’s the deal with Ernan Roman ... every year the kid has played for me, he starts his season out slow and he comes on like gangbusters,” Jefferson coach Dave Hanson said. “He just gets hot. And he’s a fighter. Nobody really knows who he is, but he also does well.”

The Chargers certainly found out about Roman on Friday. Especially after the senior deposited his second goal of the game, this one coming in the 59th minute on an assist from Carson Wright. The left-footed kicking Roman took the pass from Wright just left of the box, then turned an unleashed a missile from 12 yards out just out of Ferguson’s reach.

The Raiders will take on the Rogers Rams at 8 p.m. at Federal Way Memorial Stadium Wednesday for the SPSL championship. Rogers (13-1-2) won the SPSL South crown and is currently the fifth-ranked team in the state.

With the loss, Kentridge will take the North Division’s No. 2 seed into the SPSL playoffs. The Chargers play Beamer on Wednesday at Sparks Stadium for the third seed to the district tournament.

“This is a learning experience for these guys ... (they) have to keep playing and not worry about things that happen,” said Kentridge coach Glenn Walrond. “There’s still a whole lot more to play for.”

But the Chargers certainly had ample opportunity on Friday, particularly in the first half.

Kentridge freshman Estebon Tobon had two good looks on goal in the first half, one in which Bosshart came well out of goal to thwart. Tobon’s first attempt from 15 yards out went wide left. The second look was a rocket that sailed well above the goal.

“In the first half, we had three opportunities that we should have put away,” Walrond said. “The bottom line is, they adjusted and we had to play a little more direct, which we don’t like to do. When we have to play direct, it kind of takes us out of our flow.”

In other action:

• The Todd Beamer Titans knocked the Decatur Gators out of playoff contention Friday night with a 3-0 win. The victory improved the Titans to 12-2-2 in the South Puget Sound League South Division, three points behind first-place Rogers. The loss dropped the Gators to 8-5-3 and into fifth place in the South. The top-four teams advanced into the SPSL Tournament.

Beamer will take on the North Division’s second-place team, Kentridge, at 8 p.m. tonight at Sparks Stadium. The winner of tonight’s game will earn the SPSL’s third seed into Saturday’s West Central District Tournament. The loser will be the fourth seed.

The Gators had no answers for Beamer’s Ugo Okoli. The sophomore carded a hat trick to give the Titans the 3-0 win over Decatur. Okoli took a pass from Brent VanWechel in the sixth minute to make it 1-0. He tallied two more second-half goals on passes from Austin Sweeney and Madhanye Tafere. Benjamin Draeger picked up the shutout in goal for the Titans.

• Federal Way (2-11-3) got their second win of the SPSL North season Friday with a 3-0 victory over Tahoma.

The Eagles got a pair of goals from Brad Lewis and a single goal from Max Ward. Vinnie Lane didn’t allow a goal.

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