They didn’t make the playoffs last season.
Now they are state champs for the first time in school history.
“It feels amazing. We’ve been waiting for this a long time, for any of our sports teams,” Todd Beamer head coach Joel Lindberg said. “I couldn’t have picked a better team to earn this. Even if we wouldn’t have won this today I would have been talking about this team for years.”
This is a team came back from losing nine seniors last year to beating Pasco, 2-1, Saturday in the 4A soccer championship and finishing with a 19-1-1 record.
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JJ Allen got the winning goal on a penalty kick nine minutes into the second half. Allen, who has been a key creative force for the Titans all season, kept his poise when it mattered most, burying the ball past Pasco goalkeeper Jose Moreno Gudino to give Beamer a 2-1 lead.
“I was pretty calm about it, I’ve made PKs in the past,” said Allen who also converted a PK in a shootout in the semifinals against Glacier Peak. “I was like, ‘I can make this.’ I took responsibility and just blasted it.”
It was a rocky start though for the Titans.
Pasco (22-5) came out strong early and capitalized three minutes in on a free kick when Joel Valle found David Uribe, who headed it by sophomore goaltender Brandon Locke.
The Titans looked stunned and for the next 10 minutes, but withstood a barrage of attacks by the Bulldogs.
At the 14:47 mark, Mark Filimonov rescued Beamer. The senior midfielder/forward jumped on a ball that Bulldogs goalkeeper Jose Moreno-Gudino punched out from the top of the box. Filimonov took a touch to settle the ball then launched a shot from more than 30 yards out that tied the match.
“It’s crazy, it means a lot. I remember sophomore and junior year trying out for fun and then making the team somehow,” said Filimonov, a senior defenseman. “I want to thank coach Lindberg. He’s taught me so much.”
It was a tough, gritty game from whistle to whistle. Fouls outnumbered shots on goal, and Beamer collected five yellow cards.
They held on through a flurry of free kicks by Pasco in the waning minutes.
“They’ve got heart,” Lindberg said of his team. “There’s never been a game where they didn’t fight. They’re not doing it for themselves. They’re out here together, they’re enjoying it. They’ve worked hard every day in practice. They’d run through a brick wall for me. They’ve trusted me.”