Purple has reigned supreme in the spring season of the 4A South Puget Sound League South Division.
And the last purple-hued team to clinch a divisional crown was in the one sport that can endure all this ridiculous rainfall — boys soccer.
When you have wrapped up the title before the end of the regular season, you can rest — and the Puyallup Vikings did just that Friday as host Federal Way tallied a late goal to grab a 2-1 victory at Memorial Stadium.
The Eagles (11-3) certainly had plenty to play for, and everything broke well as the heavy rain fell. Defender Garrett Brewer delivered a pretty goal from the right post in the 73rd minute for the game-winner.
Minutes later, Federal Way coach Jason Baumgardt learned of Emerald Ridge’s 1-1 tie with Rogers, and the Eagles moved into second place.
“Obviously (Puyallup) didn’t have anything to play for, and they rested,” Baumgardt said. “We did not play (Friday) like we did against Rogers (on Tuesday). If we do that, we can surprise people in the playoffs. I don’t know how far we can go.”
Puyallup (12-3) will play Camas on Thursday in Vancouver, Wash., while the Eagles meet Central Kitsap in a loser-out game in next week’s West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament.
The Vikings have something pretty good going. Only starting three seniors, they are primed to make a run over the next few seasons in this league.
Were they the preseason SPSL South favorites? Baumgardt said he picked them. Vikings coach Matt White thought the Eagles, based on talent, were the team to beat entering this spring.
Puyallup is consistent and very fundamentally sound, and has a senior leader in goalkeeper Jack Rose.
“We have two goals — team first and constant improvement,” White said. “For us, every day has been, ‘How do we get better for the next thing?’ Literally our season has been, ‘Well, we’ve done this well, can we do that well?’ I would definitely say we’ve built on that.”
White played his starters for about 20 minutes before substituting in. They had an early 1-0 lead on Noah McDonald’s goal in the 23rd minute. But four minutes later, the Eagles answered on Jose Sanchez’s 15-yard blast to tie it at 1-1.
The loss did not spoil Puyallup’s divisional title or playoff optimism — especially with baseball, softball and girls tennis all clinching SPSL South championships.
“It’s friendly because we all obviously want to do well,” Rose said. “There is a little competition going, which is good. It is kind-hearted — you know, who is going to go the furthest. That is a fun motivation.”