Pirates pull away from Everett for 7-3 win
PORT ANGELES – The Pirate women responded to a drop from No. 1 to No. 4 in the Alaska Airlines Northwest Athletic Conference Coaches Poll by defeating the new top-ranked team Saturday, while the second-ranked men rallied in the second half to complete a home sweep over Everett.
Both teams now sit atop the North Division with eight matches remaining. The PC women are 6-1-0 in conference play and 11-1-0 overall, tied with Everett (6-1-0, 8-2-1). The Pirate men, meanwhile, improved to 6-0-1 and 8-1-2, and five points ahead of second place Whatcom (4-1-2, 5-2-2).
The Pirates travel to Skagit Valley on Wednesday and then turn right around for an even longer road trip to Bellingham on Saturday to face Whatcom.
Men: Pirates 7, Trojans 3
On paper, the conference-leading Pirates were supposed to be able to phone this one in against winless Everett, but soccer matches aren’t played on paper.
Peninsula, playing without several starters, took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute on a goal by Keo Ponce, but that was all they could muster in the first half against a determined and underrated Everett club, which used a PC own goal to make it 1-1 at the break.
The Pirates then made it 2-0 on a goal by Johnny Martinez five minutes into the second half, but Everett countered seven minutes later on a goal by Brendan Aune.
The Pirates finally shook Everett down the stretch, as Ponce scored the go-ahead goal, and then it was the Martinez show, as the freshman finished the match with four goals. Joe Sorenson also got in on the scoring act on a very nice header in the box to win going away.
Contributing assists for Peninsula were Eddie Benito with three, Jonathan Vasquez with two, and Jared Ortiz and Martinez with one each.
Nick Johnson finished with three saves.
Women: Pirates 2, Trojans 1
It’s a little early to talk about a conference championship, but Saturday’s home match against Everett certainly figures prominently in that race. The Trojans beat the Pirates back on Sept. 16 at Everett and Peninsula was looking to even the score at home, where they have never lost to Everett.
This match attracted media from the Peninsula Daily News, the Sequim Gazette and Radio KONP, as well as a the normal Pirate fan base – and the turned out to be a good one.
Peninsula scored first, just 26 minutes in, on a put-back from Hoku Afong when a shot by Lexi Krieger was blocked by Trojan keeper Emily Sorenson and Afong was there to drill it into the back of the net.
Everett, however, struck right back, capitalizing on a defensive error and some nice foot work by Ava Mana’o, who scored just a minute later.
That score stood through halftime, and then it was Afong again coming up big just eight minutes into the second half, beating Everett defenders through the box and curling the ball around Sorenson for what proved to be the game-winner.
Sorenson had another outstanding match in goal for Everett, swatting away eight Pirate shots in all, including a rocket by Ellie Small, but not to be outdone, PC keeper Manaia Siania-Unutoa recorded six saves, several of those with very athletic moves in traffic, and one at point-blank range, to preserve the victory.
When the final whistle sounded, the Pirates mobbed Siania-Unutoa, celebrating a win that puts them back in the driver’s seat in their quest for the North Division championship.
Johnny Martinez winds up for one of his four goals against Everett. Photo by Jay Cline