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Tahoma boys find the heart for winning | Boys Soccer
Tahoma's boys soccer team found what it had been lacking late in the season when it knocked Kentwood out of the playoffs on May 12 — heart.
Mac Henderson, a junior midfielder who scored both goals for the Bears in the 2-1 win over the Conquerors, said what he took away from a May 4 loss to their league rival and a South Puget Sound League playoff loss to Emerald Ridge was the team needed something more.
"I needed to give more heart," Henderson said. "Because the last two games we kind of went through the motions. I realized we didn't have enough heart in those games."
Henderson scored the first goal off a ball from Jordan Downing, who broke away on the wing opposite, then Henderson led an attack with the ball on his foot before he found the net.
Beating Kentwood not only kept Tahoma's post-season alive — while it ended the Conks aspirations for a state title — it did something more.
"It made up for the times we've lost to them and to beat them in the spot that we did," Henderson said. "It means we're getting recognized for the work we've put in… (getting to state is) what we've been working toward."
Bryan Anderson, a senior forward and captain, said that after tying Kentwood the first time around then losing in the final regular season match, Tahoma knew how to handle the Conks the third time around.
"We just didn't let their game throw us off our game," Anderson said. "They try to get inside your head. They try to go over the top of the defense which didn't work. We shut them down."
Tahoma plays Central Kitsap in the first round of the 4A state playoffs on Wednesday night on the road after the Reporter's press deadline.
"To beat Kentwood was probably the best way moving forward," Anderson said. "It gives us a lot of confidence."
Anderson added that the Bears need to stay positive and stay focused.
Henderson noted that Tahoma also must stay composed to make a deep run at state.
"If we play like we did against Kentwood, we'll be stronger," Henderson said. "As long as we keep playing like that, I think we'll be good."
If Tahoma keeps playing the way it did, Anderson said, then the team will be fine especially considering the Bears took on the Conks after losing on a goal scored with just seconds left in the contest against Emerald Ridge.
What Tahoma took away from that could have a lasting impact.
"It's just about heart," Anderson said. "Coming out, putting that game in the past, and the seniors just showing leadership and pushing through. We need to stay positive. Then just keep playing our game."
West Central Southwest District 4A Boys Soccer:
Things didn't go well for the other Kent School District teams in the district tournament, either, as Kentlake lost to Puyallup 2-1 while Kentridge was knocked out by Thomas Jefferson 2-0 on May 12.