Pirates stop Tacoma, advance to NWAC championship

TUKWILA - The Pirates shutout Tacoma 4-0 Friday to return to the NWAC championship for the fifth time in the last six years where they will face Highline in a much-anticipated rematch of last year's title match.

The 2017 NWAC championship is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Starfire where the Peninsula women will try to become the first team in NWAC women's soccer history to win four NWAC titles. The match will be live-streamed on the NWAC's YouTube site.

In Friday's semifinal, it took a half for the Pirates to separate from the Titans, but the big crowd of Peninsula soccer followers saw a match that was dominated by the home team.

Jayna Morikawa scored on a nice ball from Shantel Torres-Benito in the 31st minute and it wasn't until the 66th minute that the defending NWAC champions and top-ranked team was able to find the insurance goal - and it came from the NWAC's leading scorer, Sydney Warren, that one also assisted by Torres-Benito.

Peninsula then put it out of each when Taylor Graham sent a perfect through ball to Brianna Duran, who blasted it past Tacoma keeper Jenna Poland - and then it was Kelly Kevershan's turn. The PC student body president struck one sharply from the wing in a fashion that could only be described as Beckhamesque.

The Pirates outshot Tacoma 19-5, but that doesn't mean PC keeper Akari Hoshino had the day off, as she recorded a well-earned shutout with the help of Peninsula's outstanding back line and defensive midfield, led Saturday by Malia Brudvik, Samantha Guzman, Halle Watson, Emelie Small, Jordyn DiCintio, and Sarah Reiber.

Highline, the West Division champions and second-ranked team in the NWAC, advanced to the final later Friday evening with a double-overtime, shootout victory over No. 4 Clark, winners of the South division.

Sunday's men's championship also pits the North Region champion against the West champion, as Whatcom squares off against Highline at 5:30.