A year ago, Daw VonBarnauSythoff was the hero as a ninth-grader for Tacoma Baptist in the Class 1B/2B state boys soccer semifinals.
And for the past 12 months, Crosspoint Academy had to live with that heartbreaking 1-0 loss — courtesy of VonBarnauSythoff’s goal late in the match.
Well, whether it was the pain from that, or the three times the Warriors saw Tacoma Baptist in the 1B Sea-Tac League, they certainly have devised ways to limit VonBarnauSythoff’s effectiveness.
The rematch in the state semifinals was Friday night. Crosspoint Academy returned the favor with a 1-0 win over the Crusaders at Sunset Chev Stadium to advance to its first 1B/2B title match.
The Warriors take on defending state champion St. George’s at 4 p.m. Saturday for the crown. Tacoma Baptist plays for third place at noon.
Senior Matthew Kelly scored in the 34th minute Friday on a 30-yard blast from the right hash that nosedived into the upper left corner of the goal.
Crosspoint Academy (19-1), which suffered its only loss of the season to Tacoma Baptist (16-3-1) two weeks ago in the district tournament, ended the season series by winning three of the four matches.
“They are a great team,” Crusaders midfielder Ryan Ratliff said. “They have great players. They do not have many weaknesses.”
One thing is for sure: Crosspoint Academy had a nose for every step that VonBarnauSythoff took for 80 minutes.
It was a big reason why the Crusaders could not muster much of an attack in the first half. Crosspoint Academy outshot them, 11-0.
“It just wasn’t great soccer,” Ratliff said.
Applying constant pressure, the Warriors finally scored — in arguably the most unexpected way.
Kelly came up for a free kick. He tried a soft liner over the first line of the Crusaders defense, which was immediately rejected.
The ball came right back to him. Then he laid down the thunder from way out.
“It was a miracle shot,” Kelly said. “I didn’t know if it was going to go (in), but I was super excited when it did.”
There was nothing Tacoma Baptist goalkeeper PJ Talen could do but watch. The booming shot found the small opening in the upper quadrant that nobody could touch.
The Crusaders didn’t get their first shot on goal until the 44th minute — on Ratliff’s shot that sailed over the crossbar.
Slowly the tide turned as Tacoma Baptist kept better possession of the ball in the Warriors’ end.
But every time VonBarnauSythoff was fed a pass, he was met with at least a double team — or sometimes three Warriors players.
“He is definitely targeted each game, and they know he is the go-to (scorer) to try and shut down,” Tacoma Baptist coach Jenna Jones said. “But he has gotten those assists.”
VonBarnauSythoff’s best chance came in the 63rd minute when his pass led to a corner kick. But Seth Talen’s low header was easily corralled by goalkeeper Josh Millermon.
“With their goalkeeper and sweeper goalkeeper, if those passes are not placed perfectly on the outside, they shut it down,” Jones said.
St. George’s 2, Prescott 1: Cade Peplinski’s putback goal in the 60th minute was the winner, and the Dragons will go for the title repeat.
It was St. George’s first win in five matches against the Tigers this season.
CLASS 1B/2B GIRLS
Kalama 1, Adna 0 (SO): Despite being outshot in regulation, 11-2, the Chinooks made penalty kicks when it counted, shocking the Pirates at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Kalama won in the shootout, 3-1. Madison Hull, Lily Given and Natalie Coleman scored for the Chinooks.
St. George’s 2, Liberty Bell 0: Kaitlyn Vera tallied the winner in the 17th minute, and the Dragons will play for their first state title.