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Women's Soccer News

Kanyon Anderson

PORT ANGELES – For the second time in his seven-year career as head women’s soccer coach, Peninsula College’s Kanyon Anderson was named Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Wednesday.

Anderson, who’s 2016 Pirates won the NWAC championship for the third time, also won that award in 2011. He will be presented with the award at the NWAC’s annual awards banquet in June.

The coach who was hired when Peninsula started a women’s soccer program in 2010, has won Region Coach of the Year awards in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016, as well as 2014 when he won the men’s soccer region coach of the year honor.
He credits his team for this year’s NWAC-wide recognition.

“First of all, it’s not too hard to win with this much talent,” he said. “We were loaded this year and literally had all-star caliber players coming off the bench at nearly every position. On top of the talent, this year’s team was so quick to pick up concepts that I found myself having to work hard just to stay ahead of them.”

And while Anderson downplays his success as a coach, it’s his hard work as a coach, and as a recruiter, that has led to his success.

“Kanyon is the premier women’s soccer coach in the NWAC and I’d put his credentials up against any junior college soccer coach in the country,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “Because we play in the NWAC, he doesn’t get to compete for a national title, but the success he’s had over the last six years is unprecedented and ranks right up there with the best programs in the country. He’s very deserving of this honor.”

His 2016 Pirates finished with 19 wins, one loss and one tie. That record is the second best in the nation behind 25-0-1 Paradise Valley, the National Junior College Athletic Association national champions. Ironically, the Paradise Valley women’s only tie came to the NWAC’s third-place finisher Spokane in non-conference play.

Peninsula also ran off a streak of 18 straight wins in which they allowed only two goals. They finished the season scoring 93 goals and allowing six in 21 matches. It was also a team effort, as 21 of the 25 players who aren’t goal keepers scored goals.

Peninsula College NWAC champions

TUKWILA – The Peninsula College Pirates, who won their third Northwest Athletic Conference championship Sunday, joined four other colleges as the winningest women’s soccer program in NWAC history.
The 2016 Pirates opened their season going 1-1-1 in non-conference play against the NWAC’s top three teams, giving up four goals. Peninsula then steamrolled the North Division, winning 15 straight matches to capture their sixth straight region title, before winning three straight playoff matches to claim the NWAC title. During that 18-game winning streak, the Pirates gave up a remarkable two goals.
“This is mentally the toughest team I have ever coached and this is the most enjoyable victory of my career,” said head coach Kanyon Anderson, adding that, as a relatively new head coach who won NWAC titles in 2012 and 2013, he was less able to relax and enjoy the moment.
Anderson was at the helm when Peninsula College launched the sport of women’s soccer in 2010. He took a team of 17 women, soccer players, basketball players and softball players, and managed a 6-7-6 season – and a second-place finish in the West Division.
Since that year, his Pirates have won 117 matches, lost 11 and tied seven, winning every league title (four in the West and two in the North where they moved in 2015), qualifying for the Final Four every year, and emerging as the strongest women’s community college soccer program in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. They are ranked No. 12 in the nation and almost guaranteed to move into the top 10 this week.
Peninsula’s three championships ties Columbia Basin, Tacoma, Clackamas and Walla Walla for the most in NWAC history.
“This team did everything we asked of them this year,” Anderson said. “They met every goal they set for themselves, so even when the game was tense, there was a sense that we would win.”
To say Sunday’s championship was tense might be an understatement – at least to the big crowd of Pirate fans who came from all over the West Coast, and Hawaii, to watch the icing applied to Peninsula’s championship cake.
Peninsula fans, who included a very vocal and supportive men’s soccer team, as well as members of the basketball program, outnumbered Highline fans who play their home matches at Starfire Stadium.
Those fans watched, on the edge of their seats, for two scoreless 45-minue halves, one scoreless overtime period, and five minutes into a second OT before the goal of the season ended the match and sent the Pirates into a celebration in front of the Highline goal.
That goal came when Ellie Small intercepted a Highline goal kick near midfield, heading the ball into the middle, where Bri Vallente sent a through ball to teammate Maddy Parton, creating a foot race between the freshman speedster and Highline's Tea Lopes. Parton won that race to the baseline, passed the ball back into the box through Lopes’s legs where Vallente was on a dead run toward the goal. The sophomore striker from Waikoloa, Hawaii slotted her shot between the near post and a diving Thunderbird keeper Rachel Thompson for the Pirates’ 93 goal of the season, setting off a celebration that lasted long into the damp Tukwila night.

Pirate women's soccer team

PORT ANGELES – “Strength Through Unity” is the battle cry of the 2016 Peninsula College women’s soccer team, a team that departs Thursday for the Northwest Athletic Conference Final Four.

A good argument could also be made for “strength in numbers.”

Head coach Kanyon Anderson carries 29 players on his active roster – and all 29 have not only played significant minutes, but 21 of them have scored goals.

“Depth allows us to protect bodies,” Anderson said. “Playing two games a week, without a bye for eight weeks is a brutal schedule.”

The Pirates use their depth to overcome injuries, which can be significant in collegiate soccer, as demonstrated by their counterparts, the NWAC’s top-ranked Peninsula men, who fell to Tacoma in a quarterfinal playoff Saturday in a match that saw five starters miss action due to injuries.

The Pirate women have had their share of injuries over the season as well, but are healthier now than they’ve been since August.

Coach Anderson hopes to harness the strength of his roster, that is not only united and deep, but also very talented, to bring home a championship trophy this weekend.

Peninsula opens the NWAC championship finals with a 12:30 semifinal match Friday against North Idaho. Pirate fans are expected to gather on campus for a send-off at 8 a.m on Thursday morning.

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula Pirates, who are preparing for a sixth straight trip to the Northwest Athletic Conference Final Four, were well-represented in Northwest Athletic Conference post-season honors this year with 14 players earning awards and head coach Kanyon Anderson repeating as North Region Coach of the Year.

The Pirates placed seven players on the North Region All-Star Team, nine players earning NWAC Academic Excellence honors, and three more players named All-Conference.

The All-Star list includes Hoku Afong, Audrey Barham, Kameryn Jury-Hale, Akari Hoshino, Ellie Small, Kennady Whitehead and Coby Yoshimura. Should the Pirates win Friday’s semifinal, those seven players will not play in the NWAC Women’s All-Star Game, set for 10 a.m. on Sunday at Starfire Stadium. They would, of course, play that same day in the championship match at 2:30.

Peninsula College womens soccer celebration

PORT ANGELES – The NWAC’s top-ranked Pirates played like a team on a mission Saturday, steamrolling a talented Walla Walla team 5-0 in front of the home fans in the Quarterfinal Round of the NWAC playoffs.

Peninsula improved to 17-1-1 on the season, advancing to the NWAC Final Four for the sixth straight year. The Pirates tackle sixth-ranked North Idaho, 14-2-3, at 12:30 Friday at Starfire Stadium in the first of two Friday afternoon semifinals.

The NWAC championship match is set for 2:30 on Sunday, also at Starfire Stadium. The Pirates hope to etch their name on the tournament trophy this year after winning the title in 2012 and 2013 and then placing second in 2014 and third last year.

Admission to Starfire is $15 per day, or $24 for a Friday-Sunday pass, for adults. Rates are discounted for seniors, staff, military, and youth.

NWAC matches will be video streamed. Fans can check the NWAC site for that link.

Peninsula College soccer coaches

PORT ANGELES – The stage is set for Saturday’s Northwest Athletic Conference Quarterfinal Soccer Playoffs at Peninsula College, where the nationally-ranked soccer powerhouse Pirates will host Walla Walla in the women’s match and Tacoma in the men’s contest.

The winners will advance to the NWAC Final Four, set for Nov. 11-13 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila.

The Pirate women and men, who have been a fixture at the Final Four for six years, winning six NWAC championships and a host of runner-up and third-place trophies, will have to get past two very talented teams on Saturday. Kickoff for the women’s match is noon and the men will follow at 2 p.m.

 “This is the last chance for our community to see two nationally-ranked junior college soccer teams play at home this season,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “On paper, we’re the favorites, but none of the records and rankings matter in the post season. Both Walla Walla and Tacoma are talented and well coached. It’ll be intense.”

Both Pirate teams are ranked No. 1 in the NWAC. The men are ranked No. 7 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of American Junior College Division I Poll and the PC women moved up to No. 13 in the country.

Admission for Saturday's doubleheader is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors, veterans and youth ages 13-17, and free for children 12-under.

Peninsula College soccer sophomores

PORT ANGELES – The Northwest Athletic Conference’s top-ranked Peninsula College women and men closed out North Division play unbeaten Saturday, combining for 14 goals and a pair of shutouts over Edmonds.

It was a bittersweet day for 22 Pirate sophomores, who played their final regular season home matches on the pitch at Sigmar Field, but perhaps more sweet than bitter as the women crushed Edmonds 10-0 and the men followed with a decisive 4-0 win.

Peninsula earned a bye in the first round of the NWAC playoffs and will host a pair of quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 5. The Pirate women, who went 15-0 in North Division play to win their sixth straight division crown, will play at noon Saturday against the winner of Wednesday’s playoff between Tacoma and Walla Walla. The PC men, who finished 14-0-1 in conference play to claim their eighth straight league title, follow at 2 p.m. against the winner of a first-round match between Tacoma and the third-place finisher from the East.

A win on Saturday propels the Pirates into the NWAC Final Four, set for Nov. 11-13 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila where the men have won four championships in the last six years, including 2015, and where the women have won a pair of Washington-Oregon community college titles.

BELLINGHAM – The Peninsula College women’s and men’s soccer teams, who continue to climb the national rankings, swept the Orcas at Whatcom Wednesday.

The Pirate women rolled to a 5-0 win over Whatcom and the men followed with a 1-0 nod over the North Division’s second-place Orcas.

Both Peninsula teams remain unbeaten in conference play with one match remaining. Saturday is “Sophomore Day” at Sigmar Field where the Pirates will honor 21 sophomores prior to their noon and 2 p.m. contests against Edmonds.

The Pirate men (13-0-1, 15-0-2) haven’t lost since last Halloween - at Edmonds. In two previous matches this season, the Pirates won 3-0 and 2-1.

Peninsula moved up to No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Junior College Division I Poll and has been ranked No. 1 in the Northwest Athletic Conference poll all season.

The PC women (14-0-0, 15-1-1) have only one blemish on their record, a 2-1 non-conference loss to Highline back on Aug. 28. The Pirates moved up to No. 13 in the nation in the latest NSCAA poll and took over the No. 1 spot in the NWAC on Oct. 13.

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.”

EVERETT – A Peninsula College win and a Whatcom loss on Wednesday propelled the Pirate men to within two points of clinching their eighth straight division championship.

The Pirates, who stopped Everett 5-0 under the lights at Kasch Park Wednesday evening, can claim the North Division title with a win at Skagit Valley on Saturday.

Peninsula (11-0-1, 13-0-2) leads the North with 34 points with three matches remaining. Whatcom (8-2-2, 9-3-2) trails with 26 points. Should the Orcas win out, they would finish the season with 35. The Northwest Athletic Conference’s top-ranked Pirates need only two points in three outings to nail down a home quarterfinal playoff on Nov. 5.

Edmonds (5-4-3, 8-5-3) trails in third place with 18 points following a 1-0 upset over Whatcom Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the NWAC’s No. 1 Peninsula women, who sewed up their sixth straight division title on Monday, stopped the Trojans 2-0 in the earlier match.

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