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Men's Soccer News

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.

PORT ANGELES – The road to the Northwest Athletic Conference Soccer Final Four is short, and familiar for the Peninsula Pirates.

Both the women and men won the North Division and with it byes in the first round of the NWAC playoffs. The Pirates will host Quarterfinal playoff matches on Saturday, Nov. 7, in hopes of punching their tickets to the Final Four, set for Nov. 14-15 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Peninsula College has been represented in five straight NWAC Final Four tournaments.

The Peninsula women, currently ranked No. 1 in the Alaska Airlines NWAC Coaches Poll and No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, finished the regular season with a 19-1-0 record, 14-1-0 in North Division play, to win their fifth straight conference title. They led the NWAC in goals scored with 85, and goals against with six, and they tied second-ranked Everett for the most shutouts with 14.

The PC women will play the winner of Wednesday’s First Round playoff between North Idaho (8-3-1, 10-5-2), the second-place finisher in the East Division, and Chemeketa (7-4-1, 10-5-2), the third-place finisher in the South. Game time at Sigmar Field is noon on Saturday.

The PC men, ranked No. 2 in the NWAC, wrapped up their 2015 campaign with an 11-2-2 conference record and a 13-3-3 overall mark, winning their division for the seventh straight year. They finished second to top-ranked Highline in scoring with 47 goals and in defense, giving up 18 goals. The Thunderbirds, who beat Peninsula 3-2 in a pre-season match back on Aug. 29, lead the NWAC with 56 goals for and only 10 against. The Pirates tied with Clark for the most shutouts with nine.

Peninsula will play the First Round winner of a match between the Walla Walla men (7-4-4, 9-4-6), the second place finisher in the East, and Southwestern Oregon (6-4-2, 7-7-3), the third-place finisher in the South. Kickoff for the men’s game is 2 p.m. Saturday, following the women’s match.

Both matches will be video streamed at Peninsula’s UStream page.

Admission for Saturday's NWAC Quarterfinals is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors, veterans and youth age 13-17, and free to children 12-under.

Johnny Martinez

PORT ANGELES – New division, new coaches, same old Peninsula College soccer dynasty.

The Peninsula College women defeated Whatcom 6-0 Wednesday to win their 12th straight match and secure the North Division championship, joining the men, who shut out the Orcas 5-0 Wednesday, as division champs.

The Pirate men had clinched their seventh straight division title on Saturday and the women made it a black-and-gold sweep, securing their fifth straight division crown in front of the home fans on Wednesday, with one match remaining on their conference schedule.

The previous division titles came in the West Division, where the Pirates had become a dominant force in Northwest Athletic Conference soccer. Peninsula, however, moved to the North this year, where it has continued its winning ways with two new coaches at the helm. Cale Rodriguez took over the men’s program and former Pirate Jake Hughes was named the lead assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs this year. With Kanyon Anderson returning as women’s head coach, the program didn’t skip a beat.

“We’ve been in the North Division for basketball since 1997, so it feels like home for all of our teams to play there,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “We weren’t sure how it was going to go, but it’s pretty competitive from top to bottom. We don’t take these division titles for granted. It’s a big deal to win your league and it’s a testament to the hard work our coaches and athletes put in.”

The Pirates will close out regular season play Saturday at Edmonds and will then have a week to prepare for the NWAC Quarterfinal Playoffs at Sigmar Field on Nov. 7. The women will host the winner of a First Round playoff between the No. 2 team in the East Division, either Treasure Valley or North Idaho, and the No. 3 team in the South, Chemeketa or Clackamas, at noon. The bracket is the same for the men, who will tackle the First Round playoff winner of a match between Walla Walla and either Chemeketa or Southwestern Orgeon. That game will follow the women’s game, kicking off at 2 p.m.

Peninsula College sophomores

PORT ANGELES – Wednesday’s “Sophomore Day” soccer match at Sigmar Field will have more meaning to the Peninsula College women than it will to the men.

The Pirate men clinched the Northwest Athletic Conference North Division championship Saturday with a 2-1 win over Skagit Valley, while the Pirate women, who smashed the Cardinals 10-0, still need a win at home against Whatcom Wednesday to claim the North women’s title.

The Pirate men were in a position to sew up the title with a win at home on Wednesday, but Everett’s 1-1 tie with Whatcom on Saturday expedited Peninsula’s seventh straight division title and eighth overall. It was the first conference championship for first-year head coach Cale Rodriguez and also the first in the North, where the Pirates moved this year after 15 years in the West Division.

"Obviously we're very excited to win our first North Division Championship in the history of the program," Rodriguez said. "The program has had profound success and so there was some added pressure of trying to keep the tradition going. This is the seventh division championship in a row which is a testament to the quality of players that have come through the program in the last few years, as well as Coach Chapman, Coach Anderson and Coach Tucker for their work to bring this program to an elite level, and lastly the tremendous support of the college and community."

Jose Soto

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College women’s soccer team has had some big moments in its brief five-year history, but Wednesday’s 2-1 win over defending Northwest Athletic Champion Everett ranks among the biggest of its regular season victories.

It was the 100th win for head coach Kanyon Anderson and it propelled the Pirates into sole possession of first place in the North Division with three matches remaining.

Meanwhile, it was no surprise that the North Division-leading Peninsula men handled winless Everett 5-2 Wednesday, but things now get serious with matches against fourth-place Skagit Valley Saturday, second-place Whatcom Wednesday and third-place Edmonds on Halloween standing between them and a division championship.

The Pirate women, ranked No. 2 in the latest Alaska Airlines NWAC Coaches Poll, improved to 11-1-0 in conference play, 16-1-0 overall. They are three points ahead of Everett and need wins against the Cardinals (0-11-1, 2-11-1) Saturday and third-place Whatcom (6-6-0, 7-7-0) at home Wednesday on “Sophomore Day,” to clinch at least a share of the North Division championship.

The PC men, ranked third in the NWAC, are also all alone in first place at 9-1-2 and 11-2-3 overall. Following Edmonds’ 3-0 upset over second-place Whatcom Wednesday, the Pirates are five points ahead of the Orcas and can clinch the North title under first-year head coach Cale Rodriguez with wins at Skagit Valley (4-5-3, 4-7-3) and at home Wednesday against Whatcom (7-2-3, 8-3-3).