Todd Beamer 2, Bothell 1
A thunderous chant from the Beamer locker room rattled the halls of Federal Way Memorial Stadium before the boys soccer team took the pitch for the second half.
“Beamer. Family,” they boomed.
For the final 40 minutes, the Titans played like one. Seniors Austin Stafford and Jacob Allen led the charge with a score even at 1-1. It was a through ball from Stafford to Allen in the 70th minute that made all the difference. Allen received the ball in the box and was yanked down by a Bothell defender, awarding Beamer a penalty kick.
After a friendly exchange between Allen and Stafford, in which the senior would take the go-ahead penalty kick, it was Allen who put the winning goal past Bothell goalkeeper Justin Grubb.
The Titans move on to the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, a 7 p.m. match on Friday against Kamiak at Goddard Stadium.
“You could see the nerves in the first 10 minutes,” Beamer coach Joel Lindberg said. “They did great. They remembered who they were. They controlled possession in the second half, got good looks on goal. [We] would have liked to add a couple more, but we knew Bothell was tough.”
The Cougars (6-5-4) grabbed the lead in the 10th minute on a corner kick. Cole Baker lofted a high ball, and Gian Herrera got the left side of his head on the ball and put it past Titans (16-1-1) goalkeeper Brandon Locke for the 1-0 lead.
But Beamer answered 29 minutes behind its hottest player in the last few weeks, midfielder Malik Henry. He dribbled the ball into the box and created his own one-on-one against Grubb, and Henry simply lofted a flick shot over the Bothell keeper for the equalizer.
“Malik’s goal was really helpful,” Allen said. “I think it really gave us life in the second half, and that’s what we needed.”
Both teams battled for counter attacks though the midfield over the course of the next 30 minutes.
Prior to the penalty, it was the speed of Stafford and Allen to get atop the ball and make runs deep into the Cougars’ box.
Finally, Allen dribbled inside seven yards, when he was yanked down by Cougar defender Christian Elder.
Allen said before he took the penalty kick, Stafford approached him and asked him to take the kick. Allen said he promptly looked at his captain and said, “No, I got this.”
“I stayed confident all game,” Allen said. “I got fouled, so I felt like I should be the one to take it. I just put power on it. I didn’t try to place it. I hoped it went in, and it did.”
Beamer now travels to Everett to take on Kamiak in the quarterfinal round.
Lindberg said, because of the travel, he will keep training light for the Titans. Because of the implications and the pace Beamer was forced to play against Bothell, Lindberg said rest is key.
As for a key to success for the quarterfinal round, the Titans plan to go into it the same way they approached every match this year — as one.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but this family can handle anything,” Lindberg said. “Take your chances and defend like your life’s on the line. We’ve been doing it all year.”
Glacier Peak 2, Decatur 0
The Decatur Golden Gators inspirational season came to an end with a loss to Glacier Peak in their loser-out game in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Glacier Peak got on the board in the 17th minute with a corner kick conversion, and it added to its lead on a free kick in stoppage time.
Decatur made its first appearance in the state tournament since 2011. Its last postseason appearance was in 2014.
Federal Way 6, Olympia 3
(See sports pg. 6)
Decatur 2, Tahoma 1
The Decatur Golden Gators won their second consecutive postseason match with a win over the host Tahoma Bears, the 2016 4A state champions. Freshman Emmanuel Musgrove gave the Gators the 1-0 lead in the 29th minute as he collected and put back a rebound inside the box, but the Bears tied it up 19 minutes later. Musgrove secured the win and the No. 7 seed for Decatur in the 69th minute again from deep inside the box off a corner slip from Juan Iribe.
Todd Beamer 4, Curtis 1
After a preseason filled with uncertainty, the Beamer Titans are headed to the 4A state tournament for the first time since 2011.
Before the season, Titan head coach Joel Lindberg said the team’s youth could be its undoing or it could be the secret weapon Beamer needed to create a state opportunity.
The mix of under and upperclassmen has meshed well for the Titans in 2017. Against Curtis, Beamer grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute as JJ Allen converted off a corner kick. Malik Henry made it 2-0 in the 10th minute after he hit a nice strike from just outside 10 yards.
“I think coming out and scoring two quick goal is exactly what we needed coming off a nine-day break,” Lindberg said. “We’re extremely excited for the opportunity to play at state.”
Faraz Hamidani and Zak Gregg added goals for Beamer to ensure the win.
Decatur 3, Battle Ground 1