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.
PORT ANGELES – The West Division champion Pirates dominated the All-Star voting, placing eight women and eight men on the NWAACC South/West All-Star Teams, as announced Tuesday by the NWAACC.
Sophomore Bri Afoa was named Most Valuable Player for the South/West women for the second straight year and her counterpart on the men’s team, Alex Martinez, earned the MVP award for the men.
“Bri and Alex are two outstanding soccer players and are very deserving of the MVP awards,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “Their ability to score goals is uncanny, but it’s also the product of sharing the turf with outstanding teammates. We have eight players on each of the two All-Star teams - and still the voters left some outstanding Pirate women and men on the table. Our two teams are talented, deep and very well coached and the All-Star balloting certainly reflects that.”
PORT ANGELES - The Pirate women and men punched their tickets to the NWAACC Soccer Final Four with thrilling bookend 2-1 quarterfinal playoff victories in front of the home fans Saturday at Sigmar Field.
The NWAACC’s top-ranked PC women will take on third-ranked Walla Walla in one NWAACC Semifinal Saturday at 1:00 at the Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, following the other semi matching fourth-ranked Clackamas against fifth-ranked Edmonds which kicks off at 10:30.
The No. 1 PC men also tackle Walla Walla, ranked No. 3, at 6 p.m. Saturday at Starfire. The other men’s semifinal matches second-ranked Clark against fifth-ranked Highline at 3:30.