Pirates clinch 8th straight division title at 'other' Sigmar Field | Peninsula College Athletics

Pirates clinch 8th straight division title at 'other' Sigmar Field

MOUNT VERNON – The Peninsula College men joined the Pirate women as Northwest Athletic Conference North Division soccer champions Saturday, following a 3-0 win over Skagit Valley. Ironically, both wins came at Wally Sigmar Field.

The Peninsula women won their sixth straight division title at home last Monday, while the men won their eighth straight league title on a field at Skagit Valley College, also named after the late Dr. Wallace Sigmar, an NWAC Hall of Fame soccer coach and player at SVC who later served as Peninsula College President.

“I think Wally was smiling down on us,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “He helped us launch the soccer program back in 2000 and I know he’d appreciate the dynasty it’s become.”

The league title was the eighth straight for the Pirate men, who are ranked No. 1 in the Northwest Athletic Conference and No. 9 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association Junior College Division I Poll. Peninsula improved to 12-0-1 in conference play and 14-0-2 overall.

Coach Cale Rodriguez, in his second year at Peninsula, is defending an NWAC championship this season and points to Saturday’s league championship as a significant milestone toward their goal of repeating.

“I think what the group has accomplished this year, in terms of winning the division, can easily go unnoticed because of the history and success of the program,” Rodriguez said. “But I think certainly the division title was well earned. The boys have worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position.”

The Peninsula women, who also shutout Skagit Valley Saturday, 5-0, are also ranked No. 1 in the NWAC and are 16th in the national poll. The Pirates rolled to perfect 13-0 conference record, clinching their sixth straight North championship last Monday, and are 14-1-1 overall.

The pair of North Division championships not only pads the trophy case, but it also gives the Pirates an NWAC First Round playoff bye.

The Pirate women will face the winner of a Nov. 2 match against the second-place finisher from the West, currently Tacoma, and the third-place finisher from the East, currently Walla Walla. The quarterfinal playoff is scheduled for Nov. 5 at noon at Sigmar Field at Peninsula College.

The PC men, meanwhile, will follow the same bracket, playing the winner of a match that will likely feature Tacoma against either North Idaho or Walla Walla. Their quarterfinal will follow the women’s match on Nov. 5 at Peninsula.

Meanwhile, there is still some soccer to play. The PC women and men close out league play this week, travelling to Whatcom Wednesday and then hosting Edmonds for “Sophomore Day” at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday. Both Edmonds and Whatcom are in playoff contention.

“I think this group is still hungry to get better,” Rodriguez said. “Nothing changed on our end about how we will approach the remaining games of division play. We want to go out and perform at a high level and play good soccer. At the same time, we’ve put ourselves in a position to be able to utilize the depth we have and rest players who will need it.”

Men: Peninsula 3, Skagit Valley 0
The Pirates went to Skagit Valley needing two points to clinch the title with three matches to play, but they wanted to get it done Saturday – and they did.

Peninsula’s leading scorer, freshman Cesar Gervacio, scored in the 13th minute to put his Pirates out in front and then added a goal, assisted by Jose Soto, 17 minutes into the second half to provide his mates some insurance. Gervacio’s 13 goals put him fourth among NWAC scoring leaders.

Alex Ramos, a freshman defender who has been a big part of Peninsula’s seven shutouts this year, picked up his fourth goal of the season just five minutes later, assisted by Michael Day.

Freshman keeper Brannon Dwyer collected his fifth save, which ranks No. fifth in the NWAC in that department.

Women: Peninsula 5, Skagit Valley 0
The Pirates were coming off lop-sided wins over Skagit Valley in two previous meetings, so it was “rest day” for most starters Saturday. Despite playing with less-experienced athletes on the field, the PC woman recorded their NWAC-leading 13th shutout and rolled to five goals.

Sequim freshman Leslie Cisneros scored the first two goals of her collegiate soccer career, those coming in the 18th and 34th minutes to put the Pirates out in front. The Sequim High standout’s goals were assisted by Emilee Greve and former Wolves’ teammate Heidi Vereide.

The Pirates then put the game away with three goals in the second half, scored by Jayna Morikawa, Greve and Sydney Warren. Assists came from Vereide, with her second of the day, Warren and Cisneros.

Malia Henderson, Cicely Warnick and Natalie Carreon combined for the shutout, along with a stout Pirate back line.

“We were able to rest several of our starters so that we can be healthy in November,” head coach Kanyon Anderson said. “I was pleased that some of the players who have been in more of a supporting role were able to come out and put together an organized, skillful 90 minutes.”

Anderson credits his entire roster for his teams’ success this year.

“Without the contributions of every player on the roster, we would not be in the great position we are in right now,” he said. “And it is great to see different players getting some of the limelight today (Saturday).”