It was more like a marathon than a soccer match.
For more than a half hour, shooters from Todd Beamer and Shorewood high schools placed the ball on the penalty-kick stripe in front of the goal and blasted shots at the goal.
A coveted spot in the Class 4A State Boys Soccer State Championship semifinal round was on the line Saturday night at Shoreline Stadium, and Beamer senior John Drayer wasn’t going to let the Titans fall short.
On the 33rd shot of the sudden-death penalty-kick shootout, the senior forward nailed the winner to give the Titans a 1-0 shootout victory over Shorewood in the quarterfinal match.
Drayer’s decisive goal gave Beamer a 15-14 advantage in the shootout and proved to be the game-winner after Beamer goalkeeper Ben Draeger dove to his left to block a kick by Shorewood’s Ansel Koehler on the 32nd attempt.
Drayer, who missed his first attempt when it hit the crossbar and was skipped the next time, struck a shot in the upper right corner of the goal off Shorewood goalkeeper Dorian Lair’s fingertips, setting off a celebration. It will be Beamer’s first appearance in the state semifinals. The Titans (13-5-2) will face a familiar foe when they step onto the Field Turf at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood at 7 p.m. Friday.
Beamer will battle the South Puget Sound League South Division mate Puyallup in the second semifinal. Bellarmine Prep and Eastlake play in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. The two winners will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday in the state championship and the losers will play for third and fourth at 3 p.m.
Friday night’s match will be the third time the Titans and Vikings have met this season and the Titans should be very confident entering the game. Despite Puyallup winning the SPSL South regular season title with an 11-1-2 record and Beamer finishing third, the Titans had success against the Vikings.
The two teams’ played to a 2-2 tie on April 9 and Beamer handed Puyallup its lone loss of the year in the final game of the SPSL South season, 2-1, on May 2.
Against Shorewood (16-1-2), defense was the name of the game for both teams during the 80 minutes of regulation play and 10 minutes of overtime. Beamer had 18 shots on goal, led by senior Daniel Nam’s six. But the Titans couldn’t convert and even played the last 18 minutes a man up. Shorewood’s top defender, Stefano Johnson, received his second card of the game, a red, after tackling Nam on a breakaway in the 72nd minute.
Ciaran Regan moved from center midfielder to center defender to take Johnson’s spot and saved a goal by clearing a shot from the goal line by the Titans’ Troy Peterson in the 79th minute.
The Beamer boys’ appearance in the state semifinal comes on the heels of the Titan girls’ soccer team earning a spot into the Class 4A Final Four during the fall. The Beamer girls eventually lost in the state title match to Eastlake in a shootout.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org