TUKWILA, WA — (NWACsports.org) With top-ranked Peninsula and second-ranked Highline knocked out of the playoffs, the title was up for grabs for third ranked Spokane and fourth-ranked Tacoma.
Tacoma struck first blood early when sophomore forward Mackenzie Smith worked his way past a Spokane defender and drilled a 12 yard shot from the right side of the box past Spokane sophomore keeper Kevin Alvarez to give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
Spokane sophomore midfielder Eric Sanchez-Flores made it 1-1 in the 40th minute.
Sasquatch sophomore forward Breno Rocha worked the ball to the near post end-line and flicked a pass back into Sanchez-Flores who slipped it pass Tacoma sophomore keeper Evan Munn from three yards out.
Disaster struck Spokane in the 54th minute when Tacoma sophomore midfielder Blake McMillian was tripped up in the box and awarded a penalty kick.
Eduardo Vaca-Trojillo took the PK and drilled it past Alvarez who correctly dove in the right direction but was unable to make the save.
Tacoma’s West Region all-star keeper Evan Munn was named the most valuable player. Munn was a major factor in keeping Tacoma in the title hunt during the first round and quarterfinals when he made six penalty kick saves in PK shootouts against Walla Walla and top-ranked Peninsula.
TCC sophomore midfielder Dario Semadeni was named Most Inspirational while Titan head coach Jason Gjertsen was named NWAC Coach of the Year.
Gjertsen suffered a serious concussion a few weeks ago and, for medical safety concerns, was not able to attend the match.
TCC athletic director Jason Prenevost – the winningest men’s soccer coach in NWAC history – skippered the team along with assistant coach PJ Vargas in Gjertsen’s absence.
The title is Tacoma’s second in school history. The Titans last won the title in 2000 under then head coach Shawn Edelman.