The pressure was on – and Robyn Saarenas was loving every minute of it.
More than that, the Auburn Riverside High boys soccer coach was loving the way her team responded to every minute of it.
Winding up the final week of the regular season against crosstown rival Auburn and South Puget Sound League 3A runner-up Sumner, the Ravens came up with yet another pair of shutouts: 4-0 against the Trojans, 1-0 against the Spartans. That allowed AR to wind up league play at 12-0-2 with 38 points, well ahead of the field (Sumner was second at 6-2-6 with 24 points).
“We had a lot more pressure on our defense and on our goalkeeper, and we needed that going into tougher games,” Saarenas said. “We had some tough teams that we played in that last week, and it’s a (good) way to get ready for the playoffs.”
Those playoffs began on Tuesday night for the Ravens against Seamount League champion Kennedy (results unavailable). Auburn Riverside (13-1-2 overall) opened its season against the Lancers (12-3-0) way back on March 10, scoring a 3-1 victory.
Regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, the Ravens will play in the West Central-Southwest District tournament on Saturday. There are no guarantees in that one: District is a one-round, single-elimination deal. The survivors advance to the 16-team Class 3A state tourney.
“We certainly feel like we’re kind of on a roll right now,” Saarenas said. “We’re going in an upward direction.”
TJ takes on Curtis in 4A playoffs
Amos Nistrian and Miguel Toscano scored second-half goals last Friday as Jefferson rallied from a 2-0 deficit to pull out a 2-2 tie with Kentlake in the SPSL North regular-season finale.
The tie cemented TJ into second place in the North at 8-3-3 (27 points), two behind champion Kentwood (9-3-2, 29). The Raiders meet South Division runner-up Curtis at 8 tonight at Tahoma High.
Jefferson is guaranteed a berth in Saturday’s single-elimination West Central District playoffs, with the survivors of those games advancing to state.