It’s been quite a year for the Todd Beamer High School boys soccer team and it got a little bit better Tuesday night. The Titans rolled over the Bothell Cougars in the opening round of the Class 4A State Tournament, 3-0, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
“The boys played well,” said Beamer head coach Adam Kulaas. “This year has been fun. The boys have a great time on and off the field and really focus on chemistry. I think that we played well, but are capable of more.”
The Titans (12-5-2) will get the chance to show what they are capable of at 7 tonight at Shoreline Stadium in the state quarterfinals against the Shorewood Thunderbirds.
“The game plan for (tonight) is simple — win,” Kulaas said. “At the level of the state tournament, every team is talented. We will focus on our game and have fun and believe.”
Beamer executed their game plan to perfection against Bothell (10-10). The Titans took a 1-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game when John Drayer found the back of the net after a corner kick was bouncing around in front of the Cougars’ goal.
The game remained 1-0 until late in the second half. With just over 10 minutes to play, Beamer senior Daniel Nam took a pass inside the penalty box from freshman Ugo Okoli. Nam then deposited a shot into the upper left corner of the goal to basically put the game away, 2-0.
Just a minute and a half later, Nam found freshman Troy Peterson with a pass for the final goal of the game.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ben Draeger picked up his eighth shutout for the Titans, who have won six of their past seven games. Nam led the Titans with 15 goals and 19 assists this season.
“While Daniel certainly leads the offensive charge, all of the players step up to make big plays and they do it as a team,” Kulaas said. “It is neat to see the boys take ownership of their team.”
Shorewood (16-1-1) enters tonight’s game as the second-ranked team in the state behind Bellarmine Prep and the 15th-ranked team in America, accord-ing to the high school soccer Web site, www.studentsportssoccer.rivals.com.
Shorewood’s only loss of the season came to Jackson on March 31. The Wolves beat up Shorewood, 3-0. The only other non-win of their season came just two days after the loss to Jackson. Meadowdale tied the Thunderbirds 0-0 on April 2.
Shorewood’s offense is led by junior Sam Olson, who has a team-best 14 goals and five assists. Senior Ciaran Regan has eight goals and four assists, including two hat tricks.
But it’s been defense that has been winning games for the Thunderbirds this season. Junior goalkeeper Dorian Lair has nine shutouts on the year and stopped three of four penalty-kick shots during Shorewood’s win over Jefferson in their first-round match Tuesday.
Shorewood last appeared in the Class 4A state tournament in 2004, when they lost to South Kitsap in the opening round.
This is the second year in a row that Beamer has been one of the final eight teams left in the state. Last year, the Titans were blown away in the quarterfinals by Federal Way, 4-0.
But this year’s version of the Titans is a far different team from a season ago. Last year’s Titans’ roster featured plenty of senior talent and didn’t lose a game during the regular season.
All-league players like Sean Davis, Brennen Hall, TJ Young and Ricco Sanchez were freshman when Beamer opened back in 2003 and put the soccer program on the map. The 2008 edition of Beamer is just trying to continue the tradition.
“The biggest strength has come in the role that last years seniors played in creating the program,” Kulaas said. “It has been interesting to watch our leadership extend beyond the captains and to observe the belief in the model that we designed and implemented from the beginning (of the program). The idea of creating a soccer family that is grounded in relationships is the main contributor of success.”
This year, Kulaas plays several underclassmen and Beamer started the season with a 2-3-0 record. And after winning the South Puget Sound League South Division for three straight seasons, the Titans finished in third place in the eight-team league, behind Puyallup and Curtis.
Shorewood 2, Jefferson 1, shootout
At Shoreline Stadium, Sam Olson scored in regulation and had the go-ahead score in the shootout as the Thunderbirds (16-1-1) knocked out the Raiders (10-5-4) in the opening round of the Class 4A State Tournament Tuesday night.
Shorewood goalkeeper Dorian Lair blocked three shots in a shootout as the Thunderbirds outshot TJ, 2-1, in the penalty kicks.
Jefferson’s lone goal during regulation came off the foot of senior defender D.J. DeWaele. DeWaele’s goal came when Lair mishandled a direct free kick that bounced off the wet turf at Shoreline Stadium. The goal in the 33rd minute of the game and tied the game at 1-1.
Olson scored the game’s first goal off a corner kick from defender Steven McGinley in the 24th minute.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com