From the stands at Bullpup Stadium, it was stellar defense and a superbly-taken free kick that carried the Gonzaga Prep girls soccer team to another big win Tuesday night.
On the other hand, the deciding could have been coach Billy Barmes’ speech on Monday to the student body, a recollection of his wartime experience in Iraq.
“It was special, and I think I really had them, especially my girls … I could tell they were ready to play,” Barmes said after the Bullpups defeated Todd Beamer 1-0 in a first-round 4A match in front of 200 hundred chilled fans.
Either way, Gonzaga Prep (16-2) is in the quarterfinals; the Bullpups will host Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma on Saturday as part of a double-header that also includes a football playoff game against Battle Ground. The soccer match will start at 11 a.m. and the football game at 2 p.m.
Tuesday’s match was highlighted by defense: Beamer (14-3) was held to just four shots while G-Prep managed only nine.
“Again it’s the defense that’s keeping us in games,” said Barmes, whose squad has given up just one goal in five playoff matches.
Beamer put one shot just over the crossbar in the 15th minute, but was sent reeling a few minutes later.
After a foul on the Titans in the 19th minute, forward Larkin Russell was set to take a free kick from 30 yards, but Barmes called her off and sent junior midfielder Darby Doyle out instead.
Doyle’s kick was perfectly taken, the ball rocketing into the upper left corner of the goal for what proved to be the winning score.
Said Doyle, “It was just muscle memory and the fact that I had to get that for the team.”
The Bullpups almost doubled their lead six minutes later, but Tayler Drynan’s point-blank shot was stopped by the Todd Beamer keeper.
The Titans began to push upfield in the second half, creating a few dangerous moments for G-Prep keeper Zoe Boleneus. However, the Bullpups mounted some strong counterattacks up to the final whistle.
“We didn’t change shape at all,” Barmes said as Beamer became more aggressive late in the match.
Doyle had a nice cross in the 57th minute, but her teammates couldn’t track down the ball.
Ferris 1, Chiawana 0: Sydney Clements’ goal in the 13th minute was enough to send Ferris past Chiawana 1-0 in a State 4A first-round match in Pasco.
The assist was made by Alexis Murphy, who sent the ball back to Clements off a corner kick. Clements then curled it over the keeper’s head from about 18 yards out.
Saxons’ keeper Chrissy Fitzgerald recorded the shutout. Ferris outshot Chiawana 21 to 9.
Ferris (11-8) will play in the second round against the winner of Wednesday’s Puyallup-West Valley (Yakima) match. Ferris
Deer Park 5, Naches Valley 4: Junior forward Riley Martinson scored her fourth goal of the match late in overtime to send the Stags past Rangers 5-4 in the first round of the State 1A tournament in Deer Park.
Martinson corralled a long pass, beat two defenders and pushed it past the Naches Valley keeper.
Martinson scored in the first half and added two second-half goals to help the Stags climb out of a 3-1 deficit. Courtney Stark scored Deer Park’s other goal in the 67th minute.
Brixie Mendoza had a hat trick for Naches Valley.
The Stags will play Connell in the second round Saturday in Deer Park. Connell beat Cascade Christian in the first round.
Cascade 8, Freeman 1: Molly Parton scored a hat trick to lead the Kodiaks to a win over the Scotties in a first-round 1A tournament game in Leavenworth.
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