Men's Soccer News

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2017 Men's All-Star, All-Conference

PORT ANGELES – Cesar Gervacio repeated as North Region Most Valuable Player and seven of his Pirate teammates were honored as the Northwest Athletic Conference announced its All-Star and All-Conference selections Tuesday.

Gervacio, a sophomore from San Jose California, who led the NWAC in scoring through the regular season, was named MVP for the second straight year, as well as an All-Star forward.

Joining him on the list of All-Star forwards is fellow San Jose native Juan Carrillo, also a sophomore. Peninsula’s Adrian Benitez, a sophomore from Riverbank, California, and Jose Serna, a freshman from Cowiche, Washington, were named All-Star midfielders, and freshman Sterling Penniston-John of Las Vegas, Nevada was named as an All-Star defender.

The five Pirate All-Stars will play in the NWAC’s annual All-Star Game at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila at 11:15 on Sunday.

Earning All-Conference recognition for the Pirates were Joey Hollimon, a sophomore from Las Vegas; Sergio Gonzalez Reyes, a sophomore from Reno; and Michael Benito, a freshman from San Diego.

PC vs Walla Walla

PORT ANGELES – For the second straight year, injuries played a hand in an early exit for one of the top junior college soccer programs in the NWAC – and the nation.

The Pirates, playing without three starters, fell to Walla Walla 1-0 Wednesday in the first round of the NWAC playoffs. Peninsula finished 10-1-4 in North Region play and 12-3-4 overall. They were ranked No. 4 in the NWAC and as high as No. 10 amongst the nation’s junior college men’s soccer programs.

“This season was about redefining philosophies and paving the way for future Pirates,” head coach Jake Hughes said. “In that regard it was a successful season that saw us develop a team chemistry and family mentality. We set standards and did not drop below them. Our record speaks for itself in league 10-1-4. We came across some good competition in the north this year, which allowed us to show our true colors, and now we are hungrier than ever.”

Going into Wednesday’s playoff against eighth-ranked Walla Walla, the Pirates were without Cesar Gervacio, the NWAC’s leading scorer, Adrian Benitez, who is second in assists in the NWAC, and Noah Scofield, a starting midfielder, all three players sidelined with injuries.

Despite that shortcoming, the Pirates outshot Walla Walla 19-3, but simply could not find the net against a defensive-minded Warrior team. The Walla Walla men scored in the 31st minute for the only goal of the match.

Sadly, it was a repeat of Peninsula's 2016 season-ending loss in a playoff that also saw the Pirates without Gervacio and a handful of other starters. Following that quarterfinal overtime setback to Tacoma, the Titans went on to win the NWAC.

Peninsula will graduate six sophomores in Gervacio, Benitez, Juan Carrillo-Perez, Michael Day, Sergio Gonzalez Reyes, and Joey Hollimon.

“It’s been an honor to coach these young men for two years,” Hughes said.

“Joey Hollimon is a young man I could turn to and depend on. His growth as a person and player is recognized in his 12 goals and 5 assists,” Hughes said.

“Sergio Gonzalez-Reyes, along with Joey, were our team captains. Sergio was our rock. He was consistent and did not miss a minute. Sergio leads by example and his teammates care deeply for him. He brings values that go behind the soccer field,” Hughes said.

“Adrian Benitez, is a talented and dedicated player who works extremely hard in training and in games. His ability to pick the right pass and link play is evident in his 9 assists and 2 goals. He has been a pleasure to coach and be around. Adrian was extremely unlucky to pick up a knee injury during our training session before our first playoff game,” Hughes said.

“Cesar Gervacio, was also unlucky to pick up a hamstring injury during our game against Edmonds. He had a truly special season tallying 18 goals and five assists. Cesar has the ability to link play, hold the ball, and get goals,” Hughes said.

“Juan Carrillo brings a spark to our offense. He scored 15 goals and six assists and played almost every game,” Hughes said.

“Michael Day scored arguably the best goal of our season against Edmonds. He has the ability to defend and get forward and attack. Michael has grown, and continues to grow into a good young man,” Hughes said.

Nov. 1 NWAC Playoff

PORT ANGELES - The NWAC's fourth-ranked Pirates open the playoffs against eighth-ranked Walla Walla at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the First Round of the playoffs right here at Sigmar Field.

The Peninsula men, who are ranked 13th nationally, finished second in the North Region behind top-ranked Whatcom this year with a 10-1-4 league record and a 12-2-4 overall mark. They scored 61 goals, second only to Whatcom's 63, and gave up 27.

Walla Walla finished third in the East Region behind Spokane and Columbia Basin with an 8-4 record, 11-5 overall. The Warriors scored 35 goals this year and allowed 19.

Individually, Peninsula has a host of players among the NWAC leaders. Cesar Gervacio, who pulled a hamstring in Peninsula's 4-3 win over Edmonds Saturday and is questionable for this week, leads the NWAC in scoring with 18 goals, Juan Carrillo is third with 15 and Joey Hollimon is seventh with 12. Pirate Adrian Benitez is second in assists with nine and Carillo is sixth with six.

Jose Serna

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College women’s soccer team broke two records and claimed their seventh straight league title Saturday with four matches still remaining, while the Pirate men remained in the hunt for the men’s North Region crown with a pair of home wins over Shoreline.

The Pirate women, ranked No. 1 in the NWAC and No. 8 among the country’s junior colleges, improved to 11-0 in North Region play and 14-0 overall, with a decisive 15-0 win over a shorthanded Dolphin team. That win extended Peninsula’s unbeaten streak to 32 matches, the longest in the nation for women’s junior college soccer.

The Pirate women also broke two scoring records. Sydney Warren, the NWAC’s leading scorer, racked up four goals to break the all-time single season scoring record, previously held by Bri Afoa with 23 goals. Warren now has 25. Teammate Jordyn DiCintio also now owns Peninsula’s career and single-season assist record. She too is an NWAC leader in that category with 23, as she tied Bronte Fitzsimons’ Pirate record of 23 assists from 2013, also a single season and career record.

The Pirates became only the second team in Pirate women’s soccer history to score more than 100 goals in a season. They lead the NWAC with 113. With four league matches remaining, plus the playoffs, the Pirates are on pace to shatter their own team record of 114 and possibly surpass the NWAC single season scoring record of 129 set by Walla Walla in 2007 in 24 matches. Peninsula is averaging eight goals a match. They have given up only five goals this season and only one in league play, that one coming against the Pirate reserves.

The big news came, however, when Pirate fans learned that Skagit Valley upset second-place Whatcom 2-0 Saturday, and that loss, combined with the Pirates’ win, clinched Peninsula’s seventh straight division crown.

PC vs Shoreline

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula Pirates, the most dominant community college soccer program in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, open the final round of North Region play at home on Saturday against Shoreline.

Coming off a sweep at Edmonds Wednesday night, the Peninsula women and men are not only in a position to defend their respective North Region titles, but also to offer a legitimate challenge to win Northwest Athletic Conference championships.

“We are playing a fast, generous style of soccer,” women’s head coach Kanyon Anderson said of his Pirates. “Our players seem to understand and embrace their roles. We are getting contributions from everyone and we’re having fun.”

It’s a good thing the Pirates are having fun, because the teams they’re playing in the North may not be. The top-ranked NWAC program, ranked No. 8 in the latest United Soccer Coaches national junior college poll, is 10-0 in North Region play, 13-0 overall, and riding a 31-game unbeaten streak, which is the longest amongst the nation’s junior college women’s soccer teams. Peninsula has outscored its’ region opponents 82-1, and leads the NWAC with 98 goals on the season, allowing just five. Second-ranked Highline is second in goals scored with 60.

The Pirates need just two more wins with five matches remaining to clinch their seventh straight region title.

The men’s team, under first-year head coach Jake Hughes, is in a slightly different position entering the final round of league play. The Pirates, who returned just five players from a team that won Peninsula’s eighth straight region title last fall, is ranked fourth in the NWAC and sitting in second place in the North. They will need to win out, and will need help to win the division, as top-ranked Whatcom leads the division by four points. The PC men are 6-0-4 in North play and 8-1-4 overall. They lead the NWAC in scoring with 46 goals, but they’ve allowed 18.

“We’re continuing to grow and reach our potential,” Hughes said. “We’ve battled through sickness and injuries. We’re almost at full strength for our last round. Our goal is to improve the physiological part of the game and prepare for the next game.”

The Pirates, who played their last three matches on the road, return to Sigmar Field Saturday to tackle Shoreline. The women kick off at noon and the men follow at 2 p.m.

Joey Hollimon

TUKWILA - It was a big opening day for the Pirates.

Jake Hughes earned his first win as a college head coach and a very young Peninsula College men's soccer team persevered against a talented and hard-hitting Tacoma team, scoring three second-half goals to defeat the defending NWAC champion Titans 4-2.

TCC scored first, putting one on the scoreboard in the 11th minute, but the Pirates answered 10 minutes later on a goal by Cesar Gervacio, assisted by Adrian Benetiz - and that deadlock stood through halftime.

The Titans caught the Pirates off guard, scoring in the first minute of the second half, but again the Pirates came up with the equalizer, this time when Benetiz found freshman Sterling Penniston-John on the near post for a header 51 minutes into the match.

With a nice crowd gathered to watch these two NWAC men's soccer powers do battle, the PC men stepped up in the final 13 minutes, scoring two goals to put the win in the books. Juan Carrillo-Perez scored unassisted for the go-ahead goal and teammate Gervacio came up with his second goal of the match, a nice header in traffice off a corner kick from Benetiz, who logged a hat trick in the assist column.

Freshman keeper Darius Ochoa played brilliantly in goal for the Pirates, recording save after save down the stretch to preserve the win. Sergio Gonzalez Reyes also had a big match for the Pirates, who will get a few hours of sleep before returning to Starfire Friday morning to tackle defending East champion Spokane.

Jake Hughes

PORT ANGELES - The Jake Hughes era of Pirate soccer begins this summer when the Peninsula College men's soccer team opens at the 2017 NWAC Friendlies Aug. 24-25 at the Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila.

The storied soccer program's fourth head coach helped the Pirates win an NWAC championship in 2015, and he helped them reach the quarterfinals last year, both years as an assistant coach. The former Pirate standout, who picked up an NWAC championship ring himself as a player back in 2010, is now directing the program.

The Peninsula men began training on Aug. 5 and will take to the pitch for the first time under Coach Hughes in a scrimmage at the University of Victoria on Sunday at 1 p.m.

"This group is packed with great characters and quality," Hughes said of his 2017 roster. "They have really pushed themselves through the first week and I'm excited to see them develop as Peninsula College players."

The Pirates return four sophomores in North Region most valuable player Cesar Gervacio of San Jose, California; North All-Star Juan Carrillo, also of San Jose; North All-Conference Joey Hollimon of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Sergio Gonzalez-Reyes of Reno, Nevada.

Hughes' first recruiting class includes Jesse Salgado of Port Angeles, Josiah Urique of Sequim, Darius Ochoa of Seattle, Jose Serna of Yakima, Tristan Landry of Kenai, Alaska, Calvin Aguirre of Las Vegas, Yuki Lavoie of Kallua Kona, Hawaii, Joshua Lopez of Walkoloa, Hawaii, Peter Jones of British Columbia, Manuel Galiano of Italy, and three players from California, including Noah Scofield of Stockton, Michael Benito of Vista, and Stefanus Brown of Vista.

Jake Hughes

PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College’s nationally-ranked men’s soccer program may have a European feel next fall.

The College named Jake Hughes, formerly of London, England, as its’ new head men’s soccer coach.

Hughes takes over following the late-January resignation of Cale Rodriguez, who left for a coaching job at Cal State Irvine.

“It's a great honor to be named the head men's soccer coach at Peninsula College, a program that is truly special and a program that I owe a great deal to,” Hughes said. “I would like to thank Dr. Robins, Jack Huls, Rick Ross, Kanyon Anderson, Cale Rodriguez, and Tim Tucker for the opportunity to guide the Pirates into the next season. The support and dedication I have received is incredible and it speaks volumes about the quality of our program.”

Hughes won the job following a seven-week national search.

“It was a very competitive field of applicants,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “We had 34 applications from coaches whose experience ranged from high school to college to professional, and from 19 states and three countries. There were some high powered coaches in the mix, including one with a national championship to his name, but it comes down to the right fit for our program, and that fit is Jake Hughes.”

“I am convinced that Jake has the passion, work ethic and experience to not only win more championships for Peninsula College, but also to recruit student athletes who will represent us well on and off the field,” Ross added. “As our interim coach this last month, the first player he signed is an outstanding young man from Port Angeles in Jesse Salgado. He’s also recruiting players from all over the west coast. Jake knows our program, he knows the NWAC, he knows the College, and he demonstrated to our committee, and our administration, that he not only really wants the job, but that he really wants to coach the players in our program, and that he really wants to live in our community.”