State berth on line when longtime rivals meet for today’s showdown KW, Tahoma brace for rubber match

Tahoma vs. Kentwood. Kentwood vs. Tahoma. Here they go again.

  • Saturday, May 10, 2008 12:00am
  • Sports

Tahoma vs. Kentwood. Kentwood vs. Tahoma. Here they go again.

They’ve already played twice during the current boys soccer season. But this time, when the two neighborhood rivals step onto the turf, it’ll be more than just a regular-season match. More than even a rivalry match.

This one is for a trip to the Class 4A state tournament. Winner goes. Loser doesn’t.

“There’s nothing that needs to be said. Let’s just go play and take care of it and play our game,” Kentwood coach Aaron Radford said on Wednesday after his Conquerors dropped a 1-0 overtime decision to Puyallup in a South Puget Sound League championship match at Bethel High School that was well worthy of the “championship match” label.

See SOCCER, page 11

That outcome gave Kentwood the league’s No. 2 seed for today’s Class 4A West Central District playoffs. And on this year’s bracket, that means a contest against the No. 5 SPSL seed – a spot which Tahoma earned with a 1-0 shootout victory against Beamer on Wednesday night.

Now, after two tight regular-season battles – both of which were won by the Bears, 3-2 in a hailstorm and 2-1 in much nicer conditions – they’ll meet up again, kicking off today at 11 a.m. at Bethel High.

“We had some rough starts with some players being gone the first few games,” said Tahoma goalkeeper Chad Burgess, who emerged as the hero against Beamer on Wednesday night with two saves on the Titans’ five tries in the penalty-kick shootout. “We just came back on fire, and we’d just like to keep it going.”

Kentwood (11-4-2), the SPSL North Division champion, and Puyallup (13-1-2), the South winner, looked like they were headed for a shootout, as well. The teams spent all 80 minutes of regulation time and the first five-minute golden-goal overtime trading momentum, trading near-misses, and trading just about every other element that factors into a title game.

“We had three potential (goals) that went into the box – they just didn’t go that final foot,” Radford said. “They had some good shots that we blocked. We just couldn’t stop that last one. We put out the best hard-work effort that we could muster up.”

“That last one” came 1 minute, 22 seconds into the second and final OT. After what could have been the winning goal for the Conquerors was kicked off the line 30 seconds into the overtime, the Vikings came back downfield. The ball went into the penalty area restraining arc, where Justin Veltung ran onto it and fired it into the back left corner an instant before Kentwood goalkeeper Mitch Pombrio could get to it.

“One team would get better, then the other team would get some more confidence,” Radford said. “That’s how a first place vs. first place match should play out: down to the wire and slug it out, and see what happens.”

Bears stem the tide

Tahoma and Beamer went down to the wire and then some, playing 90 minutes of scoreless soccer that started out very much in Beamer’s favor before the Bears were able to turn the tide somewhat. And the Bears did it without midfielder and North Division MVP Evan Denmark in the lineup. (He was out for academic reasons.)

“They attacked in waves, and they were dangerous in terms of possession,” Tahoma coach Lance Fischbach said. “The second half got better for us, and they got rattled a bit.”

Darioush Kazemi gave Tahoma the initial lead in the shootout. Then Burgess, who subbed in for starting goalkeeper John Thompson at the start of the second overtime (only players who are on the field at the final whistle can participate in the shootout) saved Beamer’s first try.

The Bears fell behind 2-1 through three rounds when Ryan Chase’s shot was saved and Britton Jolley’s went wide left. James Schmidt knotted it at 2-2 for Tahoma, and Burgess kept it even with another save.

That brought it to the fifth and final round. Brad Hwang drilled his shot into the back left corner for a 3-2 Tahoma lead. Then, Beamer’s Jordan Hale watched his shot bounce off the right side of the crossbar, sealing the win for the Bears.

Putting in Burgess, who was the starting keeper earlier in the season until a change was made to Thompson, was a calculated move on Fischbach’s part.

“We worked on penalty kicks (Tuesday), and he performed better,” Fischbach said.

Like every keeper in that situation, there’s not much in the way of strategy.

Falcons fall

Kentlake’s first trip to the boys soccer playoffs was a short one. The Falcons were eliminted in a shootout by Emerald Ridge on Wednesday night, 1-0.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie through 80 minutes of regulation time and a pair of five-minute golden-goal overtimes.

The Jaguars won the shootout, 2-1.

Kentlake finished the season with a school-best 8-5-4 record. The Falcons took fourth place in the South Puget Sound League North Division at 7-4-3.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Richard Sherman takes plea deal on charges stemming from July 2021 incident

The former Seahawks player will not have to do any additional jail time.

Design rendering of future Sounders FC facility in Renton. (Courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC)
Seattle Sounders FC announce new HQ at Renton’s Longacres site

Facility is expected to open in 2024, before Seattle potentially hosts FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

WIAA launches bias reporting form in response to discriminatory incidents

Inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event can be reported.

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

(Photos courtesy of Praveen Raj)
Maple Valley Cricket Club hosts its first youth cricket league

The Maple Valley Cricket Club hosted its first youth cricket league the… Continue reading

A come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals gave the Vancouver Giants their second win in a row Tuesday night, March 30, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Back to the ice: Vancouver Giants resume play Sunday

Langley-based team scheduled to play three games in four days, following COVID postponement

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.