The tone was set at practice Monday.
The Puyallup High School boys soccer team’s practice was so efficient, it lasted 40 minutes less than normal — and that’s including the handful of seconds coach Matt White used to talk about the implications of Tuesday’s Class 4A South Puget Sound League South match at Curtis.
“I just went home, ate some tacos, chilled a little bit,” Puyallup senior midfielder Jonathan Contreras said.
And Tuesday? Contreras scored a goal and assisted on another as Puyallup continued its unbeaten run through the season and all but clinched the 4A SPSL South league title in a 3-0 win over Curtis.
Puyallup (10-0-2, 9-0-0 4A SPSL South) needs one more win or a Curtis (8-5-1, 8-2-0) loss in the next three matches to secure its fourth consecutive league title and fifth in the past six years.
Not that the team dwelt on that much coming in.
“Every year the focus for us is not on wins and losses, it’s on trying to improve,” White said. “Obviously a win tonight, you do the math, would give either team an edge for the league championship, but we probably talked about that for about 10 seconds (Monday).
“Our real focus was on ‘This is what we need to do, this is what we need to improve on.’ ”
Puyallup was as efficient Tuesday as it was in that Monday practice. Blake McMillian put the Vikings on the scoreboard when he collected a shot from the left side of the net and struck it into the goal in the 29th minute.
Contreras added another goal just before halftime off Trevor Lee’s free kick.
Lee, a junior midfielder and team captain, was playing in just his third game after breaking his left arm in a preseason jamboree.
He was wearing a cast on the arm in Tuesday’s game, but scored Puyallup’s third goal in the 60th minute off an assist from Contreras.
Lee said the cast comes off Thursday.
Both of Curtis’ league losses this season have come against Puyallup. And in both games it had just three shots on goal and scored none. The only other match Curtis was held scoreless was the season opener, a 2-0 loss to Gig Harbor.
“It just came down to attitude and effort,” Curtis coach Frank Hankel said. “The game plan was to set the tone early and unfortunately we didn’t do that. I tip my hat to (Puyallup). They outplayed us tonight.”
Tahoma (14-0-0; 11-0-0 4A SPSL Northeast) has just two games remaining — Thursday against Kentlake and Saturday against Kentridge — to finish the regular season without a loss or tie. It has already clinched the 4A SPSL Northeast title.
The homer came off of Graham-Kapowsin pitcher C.J. Blowers in the bottom of the sixth inning. Blowers hadn’t allowed a run before that and the Eagles led 1-0.
Talbot struck out nine in seven innings, allowing three hits and one run.