While the Pirates were celebrating in the middle of the field following their thrilling victory in the 2015 Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Sunday, head coach Cale Rodriguez was 30 yards away, tears in his eyes, staring up at the Starfire scoreboard that read: “Peninsula 4, Spokane 3 with 0:00 showing on the clock.”
The first-year head coach from Redlands, California, had successfully completed what head coaches often spend careers trying to accomplish. He had just guided the Peninsula College men to a championship. It was the Pirates’ fourth NWAC title in six years – and it was a battle.
PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College placed 11 soccer players on the North Division women’s and men’s all-star teams, freshman Johnny Martinez was named Most Valuable Player, and women’s head coach Kanyon Anderson received Coach of the Year honors, as announced this week by the Northwest Athletic Conference.
Myu Ban, Karen Corral, Lexi Krieger, Kai Mahuka and Ellie Small were named to the North Division Women’s Soccer All-Star Team, while MVP Martinez was joined by Eddie Benito, Trevan Estrellado, Santiago Sierra, Jose Soto and Jonathan Vasquez on the North Men’s All-Star Team.
The annual NWAC All-Star Games are one of the feature attractions of the Final Four weekend at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The women’s match will feature the North/South All-Stars taking on the West/East All-Stars at 10:30, while the men’s match follows at 12:30. Should the Pirate women and men win semifinal matches on Saturday, their players will be recognized, but will not participate in the All-Star Games. The Final Four championship matches are played on Sunday with the women kicking off at 3 p.m. and the men at 5:30.
PORT ANGELES – The Pirates won a pair of NWAC Quarterfinal thrillers Saturday to advance to the Final Four, set for Saturday and Sunday at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Freshman Ellie Small finished off a free kick by teammate Myu Ban that was bouncing around in front of the North Idaho goal in the second overtime period to lift the Peninsula women over the Cardinals 1-0, and it was sophomore Trevan Estrellado’s dramatic free kick from the left wing in the 55th minute that propelled the Pirates over Walla Walla 1-0 in the men’s game.
Both Peninsula teams will depart at 7:30 a.m. on Friday en route to the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, where they will train and then attend a Final Four Banquet.