Soccer: Team chemistry fuels Todd Beamer’s turnaround

After a one-win season, the Titans are in the mix for a league title.

A season ago, Todd Beamer High School’s boys soccer team won just one game over the entire season. This year, the Titans are battling for a league championship for the first time since 2018.

With a 3-2 win against Auburn Riverside on the road on April 19, the Titans for a moment took over the top spot in the standings. But a Kent-Meridian win placed Todd Beamer second on points — just one point separated the Titans and Royals.

“We have all the same guys the past two years, so they have worked really hard. They have confidence now that they can be good, they can beat teams. Ultimately it has been the same boys from two years and last year, and they’re performing this year,” Head Coach Troy Peterson said.

That has been a theme for the 3A NPSL league in boys soccer this season. Entering their game with the Ravens, who were fifth in the standings, just three points separated them from the top spot.

“All the games down the stretch are big. The message is that any game we play is a big game. They came out here with some good intensity and put on a good performance,” Peterson said.

Todd Beamer and Auburn Riverside jockeyed throughout the first 10 minutes of the game. The Titans got the first goal of the game off of some clever play from Dylan Cruz and company. Cruz found Zachary Washburn in the 19th minute for the first goal of the game.

Just a minute later, the Ravens answered the bell and tied the game on an impressive goal. The Ravens were able to keep a ball inbounds, which caused a lapse with many of the Titan defenders and brought the game level.

The Titans were able to keep level heads, but it took a wonderful strike off the right foot of sophomore Adrian Alonso from about 30 yards out with just under five minutes until halftime.

“He put on an amazing shot, and I kept telling him to shoot the ball. That helped us,” Peterson said.

“It blew my mind. I watched it go all the way in. When it hit the back of the net, my hands were on top of my head and I was screaming,” senior Dylan Cruz said.

Applying the pressure remained a theme for the Titans in the second half. Already up 2-1, Todd Beamer continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts in the 57th minute of the game.

A corner was sent in and was deflected off an Auburn Riverside defender for a third goal.

“In the second half we came out a little bit stronger. Which was good. We were able to add one on and they got one late. But I thought our defense played pretty solid,” Peterson said.

The Titan players felt like they left some goals out on the field and really could have asserted their will over Auburn Riverside.

“We could have played a lot better. We could have had a much more favorable score,” Cruz said.

Todd Beamer has three remaining games this season and has the opportunity to win the most games since 2019. These games mean a ton to this group of Titans who really haven’t had much success in their careers in the win column.

“To see the smile on their faces is unbelievable. The amount of work those seniors have put in has been a lot,” Peterson said.

As one of those seniors, Cruz has enjoyed more wins this season than any other year in a Titan uniform.

“This is one of the first years we have been able to fight for first place,” Cruz said.

The difference is chemistry.

“We are all still pretty close friends and hang out a lot of times. It is just more fun to play with your friends,” said Cruz.

Adrian Alonso takes the ball from a Raven player. Ben Ray / The Mirror

Adrian Alonso takes the ball from a Raven player. Ben Ray / The Mirror