Beamer, TJ shoot into state soccer tourney; Cassens wins SPSL title

Titans, Raiders both roll to 2-1 wins; Decatur freshman loses only game in 4 matches

Titans, Raiders both roll to 2-1 wins; Decatur freshman loses only game in 4 matches

The Todd Beamer Titans are headed back to the Class 4A Soccer Tournament. The Titans downed the South Kitsap Wolves Saturday afternoon in a loser-out West Central District game at Mount Tahoma High School, 2-1. This will be the third straight season the Titans have qualified for the 16-team state tournament.

Beamer (11-5-2) was eliminated in the first round in 2006 and lost to Federal Way in the quarterfinals last season. The Titans hosted Bothell last night at Sumner’s Sunset Chev Stadium.

Beamer will be joined at the state tournament by the Thomas Jefferson Raiders. Jefferson also won 2-1 in their loser-out, West Central District game Saturday at Bethel High School over Stadium. The Raiders (10-4-4) traveled to Shoreline last night in the opening round.

The Raiders, the second-place team from the SPSL North, overcame an early Tigers lead to return to their first state tournament since 2005. Stadium finished fourth in the Narrows League.

Stadium’s Jamael Cox scored nine minutes into the game, but Jefferson’s Ernan Roman answered later in the first half. Freshman Chase Hanson scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half and the TJ defense held on in the closing minutes to knock out the Tigers.

Against South Kitsap (12-3-2), the Titans got a goal and an assist from both Daniel Nam and Ugo Okoli to pull off the minor upset of the second-place team from the Narrows League.

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Titans. Head coach Adam Kulaas lost plenty of talented seniors from last year’s SPSL South championship team and the team started the season with just a 2-3-0 record. But Beamer has responded to win six of their final seven games to get back to state.

If both Beamer and Jefferson won their opening-round games last night (after press time), the two teams will meet in the state quarterfinals either Friday or Saturday night.

Girls tennis

Decatur freshman phenom Meghan Cassens continued to roll through the tennis postseason and grabbed her first of what looks like many, championships. Cassens, the No. 2-ranked junior tennis player in the Pacific Northwest region, lost only one game on her way to the South Puget Sound League title.

Cassens shut out Rogers’ Lauren Storm in the SPSL crossover championship match Saturday, 6-0, 6-0, at the Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway. Next up for Cassens is the West Central District Tournament, which will kick off today at Sprinker and run through Saturday.

The freshman will take on Kentridge’s Vicky Tran in the opening round. Tran finished 10th at the SPSL Tournament.

Cassens will be joined at the district tournament by singles teammate Sara Lin. The Decatur sophomore finished up as the fourth seed from the SPSL after beating Spanaway Lake’s Olivia Thomas in the fourth-sixth match Saturday, 6-2, 6-1. Lin will play Spanaway Lake’s Seul Gee So in the opening round.

A pair of Federal Way school district doubles team will also play at districts. Beamer’s Esther Song and Missy Canfield finished fifth at the SPSL Tournament and will play a Central Kitsap pair in the opening round. Jefferson’s Averi Kitsch and Mackenzie Qualls finished sixth and will also open against a Central Kitsap team at districts today.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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