After advancing to the state tournament for the fifth straight year, Tacoma Baptist fell 5-1 at top-ranked St. George’s in Spokane on Nov. 10 in the first round of the 2B state boys soccer tournament. The Crusaders traveled across the state and not only were forced to play in a snow-covered field, but had to deal with star Dragons junior forward Erik Muelheims, who Tacoma Baptist head coach Josh Narayan called an “extraordinary player.”
“It was very hard to contain him,” said Narayan of Muelheims, who scored three goals and added two assists. “He’s very fast and can control the ball. The whole offense went through him.”
After falling behind 2-0, the Crusaders got on the board in the 22nd minute when Austin Lutterloh finished a corner kick from Tiago Rodrigues. But Muelheims answered with two goals before the half to give St. George’s a commanding lead.
“We played them well in the second half…we had opportunities we missed,” Narayan said. “I don’t see anybody stopping St. George’s this year.”
It was a much different outcome from the last time the teams met, a 2-0 win for the Crusaders in the 2008 state finals. The loss leaves the Crusaders with 15 wins, three losses and two draws this season, as they advanced to the state quarterfinals for the second straight year.
“They did rather well,” Narayan said. “I’m proud of them.”