PORT ANGELES – The Northwest Athletic Conference championship soccer traveling trophies are hauntingly absent from the Peninsula College trophy case this fall – and that’s not sitting well with Peninsula Pirate players, coaches and fans.
The Pirate men and women, who combined to win five NWAC soccer titles from 2010-2013, will begin their quest to return those trophies to the PC campus when they take the field at the 2015 NWAC Friendlies Saturday in Springfield, Oregon.
The PC women, ranked No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I Junior College Soccer Poll, opens its 2015 campaign against Treasure Valley, a team Peninsula defeated in a thrilling NWAC First Round playoff match last November. That game kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday on Field 4 of the Willamalane Center for Sports and Recreation in Springfield. The Pirates then play Columbia Basin at 8 a.m. Sunday on Field 3, and close out the weekend against Grays Harbor at 4 p.m. Sunday on Field 2.
The Pirate men, meanwhile, open a new era in men’s soccer under new head coach Cale Rodriguez, who comes to Peninsula College after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Redlands and at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The Pirates are unranked in the NSCAA preseason poll, but hope to jump back into the National rankings with a strong start in 2015 – and they’ll be tested early. It all begins Saturday when the PC men take on Walla Walla, the 2014 East Division runner-up, at 11 a.m. on Field 2. Then on Sunday, the Pirate men take on defending NWAC champion Highline at noon on Field 4.
PORT ANGELES – The first recruiting class for new head coach Cale Rodriguez looks to be a strong one with athletes coming from all over the West Coast in hopes of landing starting roles with the Peninsula College Pirates.
“I’m extremely excited about the incoming recruiting class,” Rodriguez said. “We have players coming from California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Oregon. I believe there is a lot of talent in this group that will complement our returning players very well.”
The first-year head coach from the University of Redlands was not only recruiting talent, but also young men he’s looking forward to coaching.
“I wanted to make sure that not only did we bring in good soccer players, but that we bring in good character guys as well,” Rodriguez said, adding that he was looking for players who “have a strong desire to further their educations and play at four year programs.”
After a weekend of tryouts, Rodriguez is excited about his team.
“I strongly believe we now have a good amount of depth on our roster that will be important as we face a challenging NWAC schedule,” he said. “Expectations are high so it’s imperative that we bring along the new guys quickly. With that being said, it is going to be a lot of fun working with this group and seeing what they can achieve.”
PORT ANGELES – Hundreds of soccer fans from all over Western Washington not only enjoyed five hotly contested soccer matches, but they were treated to great food, beverages and sunny weather at the fourth annual Rumble in the Rainforest Saturday at Sigmar Field on the Peninsula College campus.
The event, a fund-raiser for athletic scholarships, netted $5,000.
“This community continues to astonish me with their support of our athletic programs,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “Our staff, led by Tim Tucker, put on a great show, with two professional teams and four college teams, and our fans and our sponsors came up big once again. I’m convinced that the five NWAC championships and nine division titles we’ve won in soccer alone over the past five years just wouldn’t have happened without that support.”
The five exhibition soccer matches were all close. The day opened with the Peninsula College men defeating the Olympic Force, a professional team that plays in the Evergreen Premiere League, 2-1. The two Pirate goals came from Victor Sanchez and Kassio Monteiro.