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Men's Soccer News

EVERETT – The Pirates, who swept the Trojans at Everett Wednesday to open North Division play 2-0, make their 2016 home debut Saturday against Skagit Valley College.

The defending Northwest Athletic Champion Pirate men, who have won seven straight division titles, came from behind to drop Everett 5-2 Wednesday. Peninsula (2-0, 4-0-1) hosts the Cardinals (1-1, 3-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Pirate women, winners of five straight division crowns and a third-place trophy in 2015, dominated a traditionally-strong Trojan club 4-0 Wednesday. The Pirates (2-0, 3-1-1) tackle Skagit Valley (0-2, 0-3-1) at noon on Saturday.

It’s "Kickoff Day" at Sigmar Field Saturday where fans will get their first regular season look at the 2016 Pirates while enjoying a free barbequed hot dog. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors (55), veterans and children 13-17, and free to children 12-under.

SPOKANE – The Peninsula Pirates managed to play all of the defending region champions in non-conference soccer play, completing that preseason schedule with a win and a tie at Spokane Monday.

The defending NWAC champion Pirate men overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat the reigning East Region champion Sasquatch 2-1 Saturday, following a 2-2 thriller between the defending NWAC champions from Spokane and the five-time region champion and third-place 2015 finisher Peninsula.

The Pirate men closed out their non-conference with wins over Spokane and South Region champion Clark, and a tie against defending West champion Highline. The PC women defeated 2015 South champion Lane, fell to defending West champion Highline before tying Spokane. Both teams open North Region play Saturday at Shoreline where the PC women (1-1-1) tackle the Dolphins (2-0-0) at noon and the PC men (2-0-1) meet the hosts (1-1-0) at 2:15.

Alex Ramos

SPRINGFIELD, OR – The Pirates opened their 2016 season with a successful showing at the Northwest Athletic Conference Fall Sports Festival last weekend.

The defending champion Pirate men, playing without several starters, defeated defending South champion Clark 3-0 Saturday and tied defending West champion Highline 3-3 on Sunday, staking an early claim as one of the NWAC’s top men’s teams for 2016.

The Pirate women, who were upset in the semifinals last year by Highline, split their non-conference matches, defeating the defending South Region champion Titans 3-0 on Lane’s home field Saturday, and then falling to West champion and NWAC runner-up Highline in a 2-1 thriller on Sunday.

The two PC teams will see their next action Monday, Sept. 5, at Spokane where the women will take on the defending NWAC champion Sasquatch at 10 a.m. and the men will tackle a very strong Spokane men’s club at 12:15.
The Pirates open North Region play Sept. 10 at Shoreline and Sept. 14 at Everett before making their 2016 home debut Sept. 17 against Skagit Valley.

Peninsula 3, Highline 3
After dominating Lane on Saturday, the Peninsula men found themselves in an early hole against Highline. Both teams got off quality shots in the first half, but the only shots that found the net came from the Thunderbirds, who posted a surprising 3-0 advantage at halftime.

PORT ANGELES – The defending Northwest Athletic Conference champion Peninsula College Pirates will have a California vibe when they hit the pitch at Sigmar Field in August to begin training.

Cale Rodriguez, who won the NWAC title in his first year as head coach, has recruited 11 players from his home state of California in what appears to be a very strong recruiting class to go along with eight returners.

“This recruiting class is an excellent group of talented and high character individuals,” Rodriguez said. “The challenge with this group will be getting them adapted to the college game quickly, as we have a tough preseason ahead of us. I am hopeful that this group can step in right away and help the program continue a high level of success with the help and experience of the returning group.”

“I am excited to get to work as preseason is just around the corner,” Rodriguez said.

Jared Ortiz

PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College soccer fans have been starving for soccer since the season ended back in November, but they were treated to a feast, both on and off the field, at the fourth annual Rumble in the Rainforest Saturday at Sigmar Field.

The Pirate women and men each played two exhibition matches in a six-team event that featured outstanding food from the Pirate Cove Café, beverages from Next Door Gastropub, and soccer from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“The fourth annual rumble in the rainforest was very successful,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “Congrats to Tim tucker and the Pirate soccer program for hosting a great day of exhibition soccer at Sigmar Field. Great food, great weather and a nice crowd throughout the day. It was a treat to see our outstanding sophomores one last time at home.”

It was also a big day for the home town players.

The Pirate women won both matches, beating Saint Martin’s University 1-0 on a goal by Ellie Small in the 10th minute. They then rallied to defeat Olympic Force, a semi-pro team out of Bremerton, 3-0. The first goal came from Sequim red-shirt freshman Leslie Cisneros in the 13th minute. The Pirates added insurance goals from Small just 10 minutes later, and then from Hoku Afong in the final five minutes of the match.

Keo Ponce, Cale Rodriguez, Manny Medina signing

PORT ANGELES – Nine Peninsula College men’s soccer players have now signed to play at colleges and universities across the country.

“I am really excited for our sophomores moving on to four year institutions and programs,” Pirate head coach Cale Rodriguez said. “It’s a testament to their hard work, dedication and what our programs can provide for those who commit themselves to the goals that we set. I think it is very evident, based off of this group of players, the opportunities that can result from being a part of the soccer programs here at Peninsula College.”

Four more Pirate sophomores recently signed NCAA letters of intent, joining five who signed in March.

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.

Trevan Estrellado

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.

Jared Ortiz

PORT ANGELES – Saturday’s Northwest Athletic Conference Quarterfinal Playoffs at Sigmar Field on the campus of Peninsula College will feature two very different stories.

The noon match-up pits the Peninsula women against North Idaho and the 2 p.m. game has the Pirate men tackling Walla Walla. The winners advance to the NWAC Final Four, Nov. 14-15, at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

The women’s match features a Pirate team that has won five straight division titles and has not only reached the Final Four four straight years, but has played in four straight NWAC championship games, winning two of those (2012, 2013). Kanyon Anderson is the team’s only head coach in the six-year history of the program. His team is ranked No. 1 in the NWAC and this week jumped up to No. 4 in the nation, according to the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I Junior College Women’s Soccer Poll.

North Idaho, meanwhile, is a newcomer to the NWAC, leaving the National Junior College Athletic Association following its 2013 season. The Cardinals placed third in the East Division in 2014 and finished second this year under 13-year head coach Dan Hogan. NIC was not ranked in the final 2015 Alaska Airlines NWAC Coaches Poll.