PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula Pirates, the most dominant community college soccer program in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, open the final round of North Region play at home on Saturday against Shoreline.
Coming off a sweep at Edmonds Wednesday night, the Peninsula women and men are not only in a position to defend their respective North Region titles, but also to offer a legitimate challenge to win Northwest Athletic Conference championships.
“We are playing a fast, generous style of soccer,” women’s head coach Kanyon Anderson said of his Pirates. “Our players seem to understand and embrace their roles. We are getting contributions from everyone and we’re having fun.”
It’s a good thing the Pirates are having fun, because the teams they’re playing in the North may not be. The top-ranked NWAC program, ranked No. 8 in the latest United Soccer Coaches national junior college poll, is 10-0 in North Region play, 13-0 overall, and riding a 31-game unbeaten streak, which is the longest amongst the nation’s junior college women’s soccer teams. Peninsula has outscored its’ region opponents 82-1, and leads the NWAC with 98 goals on the season, allowing just five. Second-ranked Highline is second in goals scored with 60.
The Pirates need just two more wins with five matches remaining to clinch their seventh straight region title.
The men’s team, under first-year head coach Jake Hughes, is in a slightly different position entering the final round of league play. The Pirates, who returned just five players from a team that won Peninsula’s eighth straight region title last fall, is ranked fourth in the NWAC and sitting in second place in the North. They will need to win out, and will need help to win the division, as top-ranked Whatcom leads the division by four points. The PC men are 6-0-4 in North play and 8-1-4 overall. They lead the NWAC in scoring with 46 goals, but they’ve allowed 18.
“We’re continuing to grow and reach our potential,” Hughes said. “We’ve battled through sickness and injuries. We’re almost at full strength for our last round. Our goal is to improve the physiological part of the game and prepare for the next game.”
The Pirates, who played their last three matches on the road, return to Sigmar Field Saturday to tackle Shoreline. The women kick off at noon and the men follow at 2 p.m.
Women: Peninsula 11, Edmonds 0
The Pirates simply overwhelmed the last-place Tritons, racking up eight first-half goals in a match that was not as close as the final score indicated.
Sophomore Sydney Warren, who leads the NWAC in scoring with 21 goals, earned a hat trick Wednesday, while freshman Taylor Graham also put three in the Triton net, moving into the fourth position amongst NWAC scoring leaders, tied with teammate Janis Martinez-Ortiz, who also tallied a goal for the Pirates. The other four goals came from Kelly Kevershan, Jordyn DiCintio, Yasmin Escobar-Moreno and Jayna Morikawa.
Maddy Parton and Sarah Reiber each had a pair of assists, NWAC assist leader DiCintio contributed her 18th of the season, the NWAC’s second leading assist leader Kevershan added her 10th, and the other two came from Halle Watson and Martinez-Ortiz.
Freshman keeper Kassidy Zinda, playing ahead of injured All-Star sophomore Akari Hoshino, earned her second straight shutout.
Men: Peninsula 8, Edmonds 1
The Pirate men also overwhelmed Edmonds under the lights at Triton Field, scoring eight straight goals, and they went the distance without picking up a card.
“We were a completely different team last night,” Hughes said, noting that his Pirates responded to two pre-match challenges: to score a goal off a set piece and to not have any cards.
Seven different players scored, led by a pair of goals from Juan Carrillo-Perez, who moved up to fifth among NWAC scoring leaders with 10 on the season. Other goals came from Cesar Gervacio, who’s 13 goals puts him at No. 2 in the NWAC, as well as Michael Day, Josiah Urquia, Noah Scofield, Michael Benito, and Calvin Aguirre.
Benito led the assist category with two, while NWAC assist leader Adrian Benitez had one, as did Sergio Gonzalez Reyes and Scofield.
Edmonds scored in the 90th minute to spoil Darius Ochoa’s shutout.