Baumgardt unfazed by family’s legacy in Eagles soccer

The car rides home have grown increasingly quiet in 2017 for Federal Way Eagles soccer coach Jason Baumgardt and his son, freshman starting midfielder Zane Baumgardt.

In part, it’s a result of Federal Way struggling to find goals through the the team’s first five games of the season. The other part of that equation is Jason Baumgardt doesn’t want to force Zane Baumgardt to rehash a tough loss before he’s ready.

The two had plenty to talk about, however, after the Eagles’ 4-1 win over the Enumclaw Hornets Tuesday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium when Zane Baumgardt led the team with two goals.

The win ended the attack struggles Federal Way (2-3-1) faced earlier in the season. It also proved the Eagles can win matches with the younger Baumgardt as a focal point in the Eagles starting 11.

“It was what we needed,” Jason Baumgardt said. “It was a rough week last week, rough couple of weeks actually. It was good to get back out here, turn it around after last Friday and go in the direction we need to go.”

The direction the Eagles went in the win over Enumclaw (1-4-1) was one Federal Way soccer has gone to since 1989 — a Baumgardt.

Jason Baumgardt was a standout player on the pitch for the Eagles from 1989-92. He helped Federal Way win a league title in 1992 after Federal Way went 10-0-4. The program, however, began to steadily decline after the eldest Baumgardt graduated. When he took over the coaching duties in 2003, that all changed.

He has since led his team to numerous league titles and coached major names such as MLS winger Kellen Rowe, who currently plays for the New England Revolution.

That creates a lot of pressure for Zane Baumgardt in playing for his dad, who has accomplished a lot in the sport, but he insists he doesn’t let it get to him.

“Can’t think about it,” Zane Baumgardt said. “It’s a situation where it’s actually OK to be selfish because I just have to think about myself and my own game. I have to follow the name, but I have to take it one game at a time.”

Jason Baumgardt isn’t even the biggest name Zane Baumgardt has to worry about.

Zane Baumgardt is chasing his aunt Justi Baumgardt’s legacy over his four years. His dad’s sister led Federal Way girls soccer to back-to-back state championships in 1991 and 1992. She was also a two-time national high school player of the year.

Zane Baumgardt is reminded of his aunt’s success every day, but the freshman said he’s not scared of her accomplishments, just extremely proud.

“She’s got trophies up there [in the gym],” Zane Baumgardt said. “She’s got her name up there. It’s nice, very humbling.”

Again, Zane Baumgardt is trying his best not to let the Baumgardt legacy affect his future. He’s perfectly happy with who he is as a player and where he is at with his game.

He’s an attacking midfielder, and he wants the ball at his feet as much as possible, such as in the win over the Hornets.

“I always look for the ball at my feet,” Baumgardt said. “I’m not the fastest player. My family taught me to play to my advantages, which is my left foot. Not many people have that. It’s just about playing my advantages that make me an individual.”

Zane Baumgardt had five shots on target, not including corner kicks, and he converted two of them into goals.

He didn’t waste any time doing that, either.

He put the Eagles up 1-0 in the opening minute of the match. Zane Baumgardt received a pass from Eagles left winger Jonathan Cuevas, took three dribbles and fired a shot from 20 yards which sailed past Enumclaw goalkeeper Cameron Cary.

He put Federal Way up 4-0 in the 57th minute when, for a second time, Baumgardt’s goal came from 20 yards out following another clean pass, this time from right winger Oscar Guzman.

“He’s playing well,” Jason Baumgardt said. “When he plays simple, he does good. For him, he just wants to win.”

For Zane Baumgardt, winning and soccer go hand in hand, and the losses have taken their toll on him. The passion to win starts with the quiet car ride home. Zane Baumgardt said he likes to take the drive time to think and reflect on the game.

When the Eagles win, he’s far more vocal about the result.

If he continues to take over the the Eagles’ attack and help produce more wins for Federal Way, he won’t have to worry about the family legacy. He’ll be too busy spending car rides talking about his own.

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