Logan Oyama scored two very different goals to power Puyallup High School’s 3-0 victory over Federal Way in the Class 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district boys soccer tournament championship game on Saturday at Sparks Stadium.
On a breezeless 82-degree day, the officials determined was hot enough to warrant mandatory water breaks midway through each half, the Vikings (16-2) had barely broken a sweat when Oyama got them on the board for the first time.
In the third minute, a botched Eagles’ clearance bounced off Viking midfielder Craig Johnson and rolled perfectly to Dane Helle, who was onside by a step at the top of the box. Helle’s shot was saved by Federal Way goalkeeper Luke Forsman, but Oyama banged home the rebound.
“I was only in the position to score because Craig and Dane put me there,” said Oyama.
After a penalty kick by Mattia Parlani in the 57th minute gave the Vikings a 2-0 edge, Oyama put the game out of reach with what turned out to be seven minutes remaining, reading the field and turning a run from the midline into a score.
“I won the ball and I saw some space in front of me and drove at them,” he said. “But, again, Craig helped. He made kind of a false run across the middle. That pulled a defender away and cleared space for me to ultimately go in and put it into the net.”
Puyallup coach Matt White wasn’t surprised that Oyama, who took over the team scoring lead from fellow junior Johnson with 18 goals and 10 assists on the year, stepped up to make the big plays, giving the Vikings the top seed to the state tournament coming out of bi-districts.
They’ll host either Eastlake or Mariner, the #5 seed from the District 1/2 tournament in a regional game next week. Federal Way (16-3) will host either Central Valley or Gonzaga Prep, the #3 seed from District 8.
“The players will tell you what they think of Logan. He’s a great kid, a great human being, a hard worker,” White said. “Every day he says ‘I’m going to compete and I’m going to bring my A game.’”
Puyallup put pressure on Federal Way’s defense throughout, working to negate 21-goal scorer Zane Baumgardt’s role in the middle of the Eagle attack, then countering with runs upfield.
“They run a lot of things through number 8 (Baumgardt), so that was a focal point,” said Vikings coach Matt White. “He’s not their best player, they’ve got some other really good players, number 12 (Oscar Guzman), number 7 (Joel Hernandez) and number 5 (Usbaldo Estrada). We did better as the game went along.”
The Vikings outshot Federal Way 26-9, with nine of their shots on goal. Puyallup goalkeeper Brandon Limes needed just two saves to insure a clean sheet.
“We were able to load up and win goal kicks, punts. Federal Way is very direct in the way they play, so if you can win the second ball you’re already past them and they have to track back.”
Though his team hadn’t played the Eagles during the regular season, White embraced what he sees as the unique challenge of the post-season.
“That’s the thing about the playoffs,” he said. “Each team is a puzzle and if you can solve it faster, you get more opportunities.”