PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College soccer players and fans are bracing themselves for the biggest day of the 2014 season.
The Pirate women and men tackle Highline at 1:00 and 3:00 Wednesday in matches that will not only determine who wins the West Division, but ultimately who has the best path to the Northwest Athletic Conference Final Four.
“If you’re even a casual soccer fan, you need to get time off work, arrange sitting, whatever you need to do to be here,” said Director of Athletics Rick Ross. “It will be a showcase of great college soccer.”
The women’s match features the two-time defending NWAC champion Pirates, who are currently ranked No. 1 in the NWAC and No. 6 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s latest Division I Junior College Poll. The Peninsula women are 13-1-0 in West Division play and 15-1-0 overall. They trail Highline by one point in the West, partly due to playing one less match than the Thunderbirds. The T-birds are 13-1-1 in the West and 15-1-1 overall, and are tied with Everet for the No. 2 ranking in the NWAC. Highline’s only loss was a 2-0 home setback to the Pirates. The PC women’s only loss was a 1-0 match at Everett.
LONGVIEW – The stage is set for Wednesday’s West Division showdown between the Northwest Athletic Conference’s top-ranked Pirates and the second-ranked Highline Thunderbirds at Sigmar Field.
The Pirates continued their astonishing dominance on defense with a school-record 15th shutout Wednesday at Lower Columbia where they overwhelmed the Red Devils 7-0. The Pirates have given up one goal in 16 matches. The next fewest goals allowed in the Washington-Oregon conference is Everett with six.
Wednesday’s home match against Highline is expected to determine the West Division championship. The Pirates are 13-1-0 in conference play, two points ahead of Highline, at 12-1-1. Kickoff is at 1:00.
Against the Lower Columbia women at a small rain-soaked field in Longview, the Pirate women found their way to the Red Devil goal seven times.
Lexi Krieger, a freshman from Portland, finished with a hat trick, scoring goals in the fourth, seventh and 54th minutes. Solana Ashe added two goals, and Tasha Inong and Brittney Yoshimura also got in on the fun with solo goals.
The assist column for the seven goals read “Yoshimura and Rodocker.” Brittney Yoshimura contributed three assists, her twin sister Brooke Yoshimura had a pair of assists, and Paxton Rodocker also offered up two assists.
PORT ANGELES – The Pirates are winding down their 2014 season and the ultimate prize, a third straight Northwest Athletic Conference championship, is still very much in sight for both the women and men.
The Peninsula women lead the West Division with a 12-1-0 record for 36 points, trailed by Highline at 11-1-1 for 34 points and Bellevue at 4-4-5 with 17. With just five matches remaining, the Pirates will try to sew up another West title, starting with Wednesday’s road trip to Lower Columbia and keying on their Oct. 22 home date with Highline.
The men also lead the West with an 8-0-1 record for 25 points. Highline is right behind at 7-1-2 for 23 points and Bellevue is a distant third at 4-5-0 for 12. The Pirates host Bellevue Tuesday for a make-up match at 2:15. The men then travel to Clark for a non-conference match against the third-ranked Penguins Saturday before hosting Highline for what may be the conference championship match on Oct. 22.
The Pirate women and men are both ranked No. 1 in the NWAC Alaska Airlines Poll. The women are ranked No. 7 and the men No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Junior College Division I Poll.