PORT ANGELES – The defending Northwest Athletic Conference champion Pirates are in the final week of their 2014 regular season with playoff matchups beginning to take shape.
The Pirates will honor 28 sophomores Wednesday on “Sophomore Day,” which marks the final regular season home match for 14 women and 14 men. The Pirate women tackle Grays Harbor at 1:00 in a West Division match-up, while the men follow against Trinity Lutheran in a non-conference game at 3:00.
Following a pair of 1-1 ties against Bellevue Saturday, the Pirate women are in a position to defend their West Division championship with wins against Grays Harbor at home Wednesday and Olympic at Bremerton Saturday.
The Pirate men need a Highline loss at Tacoma Saturday, and a win at Olympic, to defend their West title. Otherwise, they will finish second this year, relinquishing the title they’ve held every year since 2008.
The NWAC playoffs get under way Nov. 5. The Final Four is set for Nov. 15-16 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
PORT ANGELES – Wednesday’s West Division showdown between Northwest Athletic Conference powers Peninsula College and Highline lived up to its billing, with two hard-fought matches at a rainy Sigmar Field, but it was the visiting Thunderbirds who spoiled the Pirate party, escaping with a 0-0 tie in the women’s match and a 1-0 victory in the men’s contest.
The Peninsula women remain in the driver’s seat for their third straight West Division championship, while the men will need some help to capture what would have been their sixth straight West title had they prevailed on Wednesday.
Pirate coaches, players and fans were stunned when the final whistle sounded in the men’s match, which broke two streaks. It was their first loss in two seasons, and it was their first loss at Sigmar Field since it was opened in the fall of 2011.
Both PC teams, however, are very much alive in their quest to win three straight NWAC soccer championships.
The Pirate women are 13-1-1 in conference play, which gives them 40 points with three matches remaining. Should they win out against fourth-place Bellevue at home Saturday, last-place Grays Harbor at home Wednesday and sixth-place Olympic at Bremerton on Nov. 1, they would finish with 49 points. The Highline women currently have 41 points, with a 13-1-2 record, but only have two matches remaining. Should they win out against Lower Columbia and Tacoma, they would finish in second place with 47 points.
The Pirate men, meanwhile, fell to 8-1-2 in conference play, and now trail 9-1-2 Highline by three points, 29-26. The Pirates and T-birds each have two matches remaining, but Highline has a tiebreaker advantage over Peninsula, so it would take a tie and a loss or two losses for the PC men to catch their rivals from Des Moines.
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.