The Auburn Riverside boys soccer team had to escape some late surges by Peninsula as the Ravens edged the Seahawks, 3-2, on Monday to all but clinch the Class 3A SPSL men’s soccer title.
“I don’t think we were ever really panicked,” Auburn Riverside coach Robyn Saarenas said. “It was a good, competitive, playoff-level match but I felt good about where we’re at.”
The Ravens (11-3-1 overall, 11-2-0 3A SPSL) controlled the tempo for a majority of the game, and netted two goals in four minutes in the second half to open up a 3-1 lead they wouldn’t surrender.
Jordan Loomans — who led the Ravens with two goals and one assist — tapped in the first goal of the match in the 16th minute on a pass from Sahanie Shell in the right corner.
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The Ravens looked like they might go into halftime with a 1-0 lead, but an own goal in the 40th minute tied the score.
“The issue was in our control,” Saarenas said. “We just had to go out and find a way to find another goal.”
Loomans struck again in the 44th minute, giving the Ravens a 2-1 lead.
“I didn’t expect that ball,” Loomans said. “I just saw Brandon (Gonzalez) put that chip over the defense, and knew it was my chance to take the lead.”
Shell scored four minutes later on a cross from Loomans, but Peninsula’s Christian Lewis answered in the 56th minute to make it 3-2.
“There were moments in the second half when Peninsula came back and they had momentum on a couple of plays,” Saarenas said.
Peninsula created scoring opportunities late in the match — including one possession where the Seahawks took four consecutive corner kicks — but couldn’t convert any into goals. The Seahawks (11-4-0, 9-4-0) have lost four of their past five games after starting the season 10-0.
Auburn Riverside plays its final regular-season match at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lakes (0-13-0, 0-15-0), moving two points ahead of Peninsula in the league standings with Monday’s win. If the Ravens win Wednesday, they face the 3A Narrows champion in the district tournament, which begins May 12.