PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College soccer program made history in 2013, and they hope to write the next chapter of that Northwest Athletic Conference history book when the 2014 season opens Tuesday with two teams united under one concept - and one head coach.
The players wear practice gear with a motto on their shoulders that reads: “strength through unity.”
The 2014 Pirates will be unified in their goal to win another championship - and both teams will be playing under the direction of head coach Kanyon Anderson, following the departure of men’s head coach Andrew Chapman in July.
“I wouldn’t have taken the position if I didn’t have a lot of support from my coaching staff,” Anderson said. “They know the system and know what is needed to be successful.”
That coaching staff includes Tim Tucker, Omar Anderson and Amanda Anderson, Kanyon’s wife. All of them are veterans of the Pirate soccer program and all have contributed to five NWAC championships and seven West Division titles, between the men’s and women’s teams, in the last four years.
“Both teams have the NWAC title as their goal,” Anderson said. “That is never easy and I think both teams are doing a good job of approaching it day by day.”
The Pirates, who last fall became the first college in NWAC history to win men’s and women’s back-to-back soccer titles, open their season at The NWAC Friendlies, a 48-team tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The women open against perennial South Division power Clackamas at 10:30 on Tuesday and the men then play 2011 NWAC champion Chemeketa at 2:30. On Wednesday, the PC women and men play perennial playoff contender Spokane in both games, at 10:30 and 12:30.
PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College Director of Soccer and Head Men’s Soccer Coach Andrew Chapman is stepping out of coaching for a year.
On the heels of back-to-back Northwest Athletic Conference championships, the NWAC’s senior men’s soccer coach, who started his career at Peninsula in 2003, is taking a year off to pursue a professional development opportunity at Custom College Recruiting in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Peninsula has named Kanyon Anderson to serve as head coach for both teams this fall, said Director of Athletics Rick Ross. Anderson started his career as an assistant men’s coach in 2005 and was named women’s head coach in 2010.
TUKWILA – The storied Peninsula College soccer program continues to write history.
Dating back to the first soccer title match in 1974, no college had ever won back-to-back championships with both its women’s and men’s teams until the Pirates completed their second straight dream season Sunday night with thrilling victories over Edmonds and Clark in the 2013 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Soccer Championships, held at the Starfire Sports Complex.
Peninsula’s soccer program is a family. They share coaches, they train together, they travel together and they are each other’s biggest supporters. On Sunday night, they celebrated and cried tears of joy together, hoisting their trophies, posing for photos and enjoying the fruit of labor that began on a practice field back in mid-August.
“It was definitely one for the history books,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “We have something going on here that is pretty special. Great coaches, great student athletes and great fans.”
“I know we were the favorites, but the NWAACC is loaded with great athletes and great coaches and our kids had to work hard to repeat – and it didn’t come easily. We had some adversity. We had a call that didn’t go our way in the women’s match on Saturday and we had a starter who was injured in our men’s match on Saturday, and both teams rose to the occasion and brought back the trophies. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The largest crowds of the tournament where there in black and gold, many sporting Pirate scarves, to see it unfold and to cheer on the Pirates through two windy and rainy semifinals on Saturday – and then more stormy weather on Sunday.
For the men, currently ranked seventh in the nation, it was their third NWAACC Championship in four years. The road to the championship was also historic, as the Pirates, who held the No. 1 ranking in the NWAACC from post to post, finished with a 21-0-2 record, the best ever by an NWAACC men’s soccer team.
The women also did something no NWAACC team has ever done. In just the fourth season of soccer at Peninsula, the women made three championship match appearances and posted two titles. They went 20-2-0 and were unbeaten against community college opponents. They finished the season ranked No. 13 among the nation’s junior colleges and also as the No. 1 team in the NWAACC.
Alex Martinez repeated as the men’s Most Valuable Player of the Tournament and Dominique Niedziela won the Tournament MVP award for the women.