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Tommies fall in shootout
PUYALLUP With 23 years of history on their shoulders, it's understandable that the Tomahawk soccer team would have some nerves in their first state tournament game in quite some time.
While Puyallup's Kyle Gaedke put the home team up first when his kick rolled off M-P keeper Erik Cruz into the net, the Tomahawks did their school proud, evening the score and pushing the game to a shootout before exiting in the May 13 first-round game.
Marysville's goal came late in the first half as senior midfielder Nick Burdett crossed the ball in front of the net, allowing sophomore teammate Brady Ballew to head it in past Puyallup keeper Kyle Bilharz.
"We were nervous in the first half, and that (goal) gave us confidence," said M-P coach Geoff Kittle. "We started realizing we were able to open up and play a little better."
Despite improved play, both keepers were up to the challenge, producing a shutout second half and forcing a shootout. It was Marysville's first of the season and Puyallup's second that week their first coming in the district championship game.
The shootout stayed tied for one round, until Puyallup's Bilharz came up with a block in the second round. Puyallup cemented their victory and moved onto the second round when M-P's fifth penalty kick went over the goal.
Kittle praised Cruz and his senior-driven team for pushing the Tomahawk soccer program to new heights.
"I know they gave everything they've got out there," the first-year head coach said after the game. "It's tough to go out on PKs, but I think it's a good start for our program."