All season long, Michael Rector’s speed has been as big of a factor for Bellarmine Prep’s soccer team as it was for their football team and track squads in years past. The Lions forward showed it again on May 12, scoring two goals in the game’s first 15 minutes to help Bellarmine cruise to a 5-0 win over Rogers in the district playoffs at Mount Tahoma, earning the Lions a trip to state.
Rector got the Lions started in the 12th minute when a Rogers defender mishandled a ball near midfield, and the senior forward snagged it and raced downfield, slamming it in the right netting.
“I saw him take a bad touch, I took one touch forward and saw the rest of the half wide open,” Rector said. “I took a big touch, used my speed and was able to get there and put it in the goal.”
Rector struck again two minutes later, stealing another ball in front of the Rams’ goal and driving it in again. Kurtis Pederson then essentially put the game away five minutes later, taking a through ball, avoiding a slide tackle and driving a ball over Rogers keeper Jake Fredrickson for a 3-0 lead.
“Our guys did a terrific job today,” said Bellarmine head coach Joe Waters. “Everyone that was out there did a fine job of taking care of business, taking care of the ball.”
The Lions added on in the 51st minute when Ryan Quinn sent a cross to the far post to Joe Lovejoy, who drove it in. Pederson punctuated the effort with a steal of his own in the 64th minute, slamming it in the top left for his second goal.
The Lions were scheduled to play at Snohomish High School on May 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of state.
JAGUARS BLANK STADIUM
Emerald Ridge gained early momentum with two first-half goals, and Stadium struggled to mount threats as the Jaguars claimed a 2-0 win over the Tigers at Mount Tahoma on May 12.
“We didn’t bury our chances we had,” said Stadium head coach Mike Caldwell. “We scouted these guys before and we had to test their keeper, and we didn’t test their keeper. We had shots, but not quality shots.”
Tyler Himmelberger got Emerald Ridge on the board in the 14th minute, as he broke away on the left side and drove a ball off keeper Nick Rosato and in. The Jaguars added on in the 22nd minute when a low corner kick found the foot of Justin Burgher, who slotted it in the lower left of the goal for a 2-0 lead.
“That’s probably been our Achilles heel this whole season is set pieces,” Caldwell said. “It came back to bite us again.” The Tigers had a good look in the 56th minute when Jacob Beardemphl’s corner eventuallly dropped to the foot of Max Harvey, but his shot went into the outside of the side netting.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been out of (the state tournament),” Caldwell said. “Hopefully it’s a learning experience and we’ll see what happens next year.”
LATE GOAL STINGS FOSS
Having come back for a clutch equalizer in its first ever district playoff appearance, Foss suffered heartbreak when Igor Shapoval scored in the 78th minute – his second goal of the match – to give Prairie a 2-1 win over the Falcons on May 12 at Auburn Memorial Field.
“They came together, they’re playing like they’re supposed to,” said Foss head coach Mark Kramer of his squad. “The breaks didn’t fall our way.”
Jesus Perez almost got the Falcons on the board in the 26th minute off a high cross, but his acrobatic bicycle kick was deflected out by keeper Brendan Shaw. Foss’ Zach Medina had a breakaway on the right side two minutes later, but Shaw again deflected the shot out of bounds.
Shapoval got Prairie on the board in the 47th minute, taking a pass from Blake Default, crossing up the defense and driving it into the right post past keeper Cody Stephenson. But the Falcons equalized 10 minutes later, as Perez took control of a long throw-in and drove in a low shot.
“He’s the leader for the future – that’s the way I look at him,” Kramer said of Perez, a freshman.
The Falcons defense stayed strong against several attacks, but Shapoval delivered the late dagger after stealing a ball in front of goal and driving it into the left netting.
“We got here and we thought ‘hey this is just another game,’” Kramer said of his team’s first playoff appearance. “They came out hard and wanted to win. They didn’t let up, they didn’t quit, so that’s what I like.”
PENINSULA TOPS WILSON
A high-scoring Wilson squad was unable to strike against Peninsula, and Cole Madden’s first-half goal held up in the Seahawks 1-0 win over the Rams on May 12 at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
Madden put Peninsula on the board by outracing the Rams’ defense in the 19th minute and chipping a goal over keeper Mason Portalski. The Seahawks defense then stood firm, thwarting most of Wilson’s attacks in the first half.
“I definitely think the slow start affected us,” said Wilson head coach Jason Gjertsen. “I think if we played with the urgency and intensity we played with the second half, it would have been a good game.”
Peterson almost found goal in the 69th minute, as his free kick just outside the box hit the crossbar and bounced straight down, but it was grabbed by Seahawks keeper Jason Bauknecht. The Rams had one last chance with three seconds remaining, but Alex Eiffert’s header off a cross was brilliantly tipped over with one hand by Bauknecht.
“We created a few chances in the second half, but credit their defense for making it hard on us,” Gjertsen said. “Other than that free kick we really didn’t create that many good chances…that’s a credit to their defense and their game plan.”