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Crusaders cruise to crown

The fourth time was finally a charm for the Northwest Christian Crusaders.

Making its fourth appearance in the state championship game in the last decade, Northwest Christian finally took home a state title, defeating the Shoreline Christian Crusaders 3-0 on Saturday at Sunset Chev Stadium at Sumner, Wash.

The win wrapped up the school’s first boys State 2B/1B soccer championship.

” ‘Fourth time’s the charm’ has kind of been our team motto all weekend,” said NWC coach Micah Lamb.

It was all about No. 4 this weekend as the Crusaders defeated St. George’s on Friday in the semifinals in the teams’ fourth meeting of the season, three of which NWC had lost.

In the championship – the fourth game of the state tournament for both teams – NWC wasted no time taking care of business, getting on the board less than 9 minutes into the game as junior midfielder Derek Buttrick scored off a rebound at point-blank range. Shoreline Christian goalie Davis Wahlman couldn’t corral Jeffery Gullikson’s initial shot and Buttrick was there to hammer it home.

The bigger NWC team manhandled the opposing Crusaders on both sides of the ball in the first half, gaining an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Nursing a 1-0 lead heading into the second half, NWC wasted no time adding to it as forward Jared Friedly found in the middle a streaking Derek DeLaMatter, who split two defenders and fired one past Wahlman to give his team a 2-0 lead with 39:10 left in the game.

“Derek has been that way all season … he’s been the most calm and laid-back kid and I knew the pressure wouldn’t get to him,” Lamb said. “When that ball came across the middle, he’s going to slap that through every time. It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid and it was great he was able to finish those.”

While Shoreline Christian (11-8-1) was having a difficult time getting within even 20 yards of NWC’s goal, the boys from Colbert tacked on another DeLaMatter goal with 25:41 left in the game on assist from Friedly.

“It was our last game for the seniors and we just had to go out with a victory,” DeLaMatter said. “These last two games have been by far our best.”

NWC dominated the entire 80 minutes, outshooting Shoreline Christian 22-4 as goalie John Graham posted the easy shutout.

NWC finished the season 12-6-1.

St. George’s 1, Bear Creek 0 (SO): Goalkeeper Ryan Johnson made six saves and the Dragons (15-3-1) used a 4-1 shootout edge to post a victory over the Grizzlies in Sumner in the third-place game.

State 2A girls

The West Valley Eagles ran into a buzz saw – by the name of Sam Pettinger – but still managed to earn the school’s first state trophy in the sport.

Pettinger scored three goals – two in the second half – and defending state champion Archbishop Murphy rolled to a 4-0 victory over WV in Lakewood, Wash. The Wildcats (22-1) earned third place, while the Eagles (16-6), who made their first state appearance since 1996, took home fourth place.

Fife beat Burlington-Edison 2-0 to win its first state title.