After three consecutive days of physical and stressful state-playoff action, PJ Talen is ready for a break.
Unfortunately, it lasts only two days.
Boys basketball season is underway at Tacoma Baptist High School, and Talen is already late to the party.
“I am hurting pretty bad,” Talen said. “I tweaked my shoulder in the football game (Thursday). My legs are sore. I am really feeling it.”
Matched up against Southeast 1B champion Prescott, the Crusaders gave it a good effort, dropping a 1-0 game Saturday to the Tigers in the Class 1B/2B consolation soccer game for third place at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
Ivan Figueroa’s score in front of the Tacoma Baptist goal in the 24th minute proved to be the game-winner for the Tigers (16-2-4).
It was really the only shot Talen could not get to as the Crusaders’ goalkeeper. Of Prescott’s 18 shots on goal, the junior saved 10 of them.
What Tacoma Baptist (16-4-1) needed was to convert one of its limited opportunities.
And the Crusaders had a golden one five minutes after the Tigers tallied their goal.
Finally, a pass squired through the Prescott defense, and right to sophomore standout Daw VonBarnau Sythoff, who had a one-on-one with Tigers backup goalkeeper Christian Caro.
Caro wasted no time charging VonBarnau Sythoff, who hurried a shot that missed wide left. And the collision between the two players left the Tacoma Baptist forward limping.
Seth Talen took the Crusaders’ other four shots on goal. His 15-yard blast in the 10th minute was easily corralled by Caro.
Crusaders coach Jenna Jones was much more pleased with the effort Saturday, saying the team’s style was like the “Tacoma Baptist” of the regular season.
“Prescott is a great team, and they don’t give it to you easy,” Jones said. “Unfortunately we were a half-step off from finishing.”
After a runner-up finish in 2015, and a fourth-place showing Saturday, the Crusaders figure to be back in the mix for a third career state title next season.
Jones pointed to the expanded roster numbers this season as a reason for optimism. Tacoma Baptist carried 20 players.
Six starters are underclassmen, led by PJ Talen, who will be a senior next season, and VonBarnau Sythoff, who will be a junior.
“State tournament exposure is something that is hard to coach throughout the year when they haven’t seen it,” Jones said. “Well they have seen it. They know what to expect moving forward. Now they have the taste in their mouth to come back and get it next year.”
CLASS 1B/2B BOYS TITLE MATCH
St. George’s 2, Crosspoint Academy 0: Just like he did in the state semifinals Friday, Mitchell Ward scored the match’s first goal — and the Dragons upended Prescott.
He did the same thing Saturday, scoring in 38 seconds and leading St. George’s to a repeat championship effort. He added another goal in the 47th minute.
CLASS 1B/2B GIRLS TITLE MATCH
St. George’s 1, Kalama 0: In just its third season of girls soccer, the Dragons emerged with their first state title in Sumner.
Mary Neder scored in the 38th minute on a penalty kick, and goalkeeper Cate Caporicci stopped two shots in picking up the shutout.
CLASS 1B/2B GIRLS THIRD-PLACE MATCH
Adna 1, Liberty Bell 0: Out of a scrum right in front of the Mountain Lions’ goal, Adna’s Devanie Kleemeyer emerged with an open shot, tapping it in in the 10th minute for the lone goals as the Pirates grabbed third place in Sumner.