PORT ANGELES – The Pirate women dismantled Grays Harbor 8-0 in a West Division match and the men tied Trinity Lutheran in a non-conference match on Sophomore Day at Sigmar Field Wednesday.
The day opened with the Pirates recognizing 13 sophomores playing their final regular season match at a field where they have never lost. That group included Solana Ashe, Kamryn Barney, Laura Barrett, Kayla Bell, Alyssa Bertuleit, Emily Flinn, Kasie Lough, Larkyn Nelson, Mary Pierce, Katelyn Raatz, Paxton Rodocker, Brittney Yoshimura and Brooke Yoshimura.
The win left the Pirates in a tie with Highline at 14-1-2 in conference play with one match remaining.
The PC women managed only two first-half goals, those from Solana Ashe and Kayla Bell, but the flood gates opened in the second half, as they put it out of reach on goals by Rebecca Tafte, Taylor Berg, Tasha Inong, C.J. Stetser and two from Paige Mahuka.
PORT ANGELES – The defending Northwest Athletic Conference champion Pirates are in the final week of their 2014 regular season with playoff matchups beginning to take shape.
The Pirates will honor 28 sophomores Wednesday on “Sophomore Day,” which marks the final regular season home match for 14 women and 14 men. The Pirate women tackle Grays Harbor at 1:00 in a West Division match-up, while the men follow against Trinity Lutheran in a non-conference game at 3:00.
Following a pair of 1-1 ties against Bellevue Saturday, the Pirate women are in a position to defend their West Division championship with wins against Grays Harbor at home Wednesday and Olympic at Bremerton Saturday.
The Pirate men need a Highline loss at Tacoma Saturday, and a win at Olympic, to defend their West title. Otherwise, they will finish second this year, relinquishing the title they’ve held every year since 2008.
The NWAC playoffs get under way Nov. 5. The Final Four is set for Nov. 15-16 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
PORT ANGELES – Wednesday’s West Division showdown between Northwest Athletic Conference powers Peninsula College and Highline lived up to its billing, with two hard-fought matches at a rainy Sigmar Field, but it was the visiting Thunderbirds who spoiled the Pirate party, escaping with a 0-0 tie in the women’s match and a 1-0 victory in the men’s contest.
The Peninsula women remain in the driver’s seat for their third straight West Division championship, while the men will need some help to capture what would have been their sixth straight West title had they prevailed on Wednesday.
Pirate coaches, players and fans were stunned when the final whistle sounded in the men’s match, which broke two streaks. It was their first loss in two seasons, and it was their first loss at Sigmar Field since it was opened in the fall of 2011.
Both PC teams, however, are very much alive in their quest to win three straight NWAC soccer championships.
The Pirate women are 13-1-1 in conference play, which gives them 40 points with three matches remaining. Should they win out against fourth-place Bellevue at home Saturday, last-place Grays Harbor at home Wednesday and sixth-place Olympic at Bremerton on Nov. 1, they would finish with 49 points. The Highline women currently have 41 points, with a 13-1-2 record, but only have two matches remaining. Should they win out against Lower Columbia and Tacoma, they would finish in second place with 47 points.
The Pirate men, meanwhile, fell to 8-1-2 in conference play, and now trail 9-1-2 Highline by three points, 29-26. The Pirates and T-birds each have two matches remaining, but Highline has a tiebreaker advantage over Peninsula, so it would take a tie and a loss or two losses for the PC men to catch their rivals from Des Moines.