Women's Soccer News | Page 9 | Peninsula College Athletics

Women's Soccer News

PORT ANGELES – The  Peninsula College soccer program has become a “Pirate Pipeline” to high level national university soccer.

A crowd of soccer players, coaches and parents filled the College’s Cornaby Center annex Wednesday, National Letter of Intent Day, officially signing letters committing to colleges and universities from Alaska to Alabama and from Texas to Connecticut.

“It’s a credit to our coaching staff, to the hard work of our student athletes, and to all those who support them here at Peninsula and in our community,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “Director of Soccer and Head Men’s Soccer Coach Andrew Chapman, Head Women’s Soccer Coach Kanyon Anderson, and their staffs do a terrific job preparing their players to play at the university level. That’s one of the reasons they are so successful recruiting talented players. It’s no secret that our graduates are having tremendous success at the next level.”

It’s also no surprise that two teams that each won back-to-back championships in Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges soccer play, and two teams that are nationally ranked, would produce players physically and academically capable of playing on.

Pirate Women

Headlining the list of signees for the women’s team are Bri Afoa, Annie Armstrong, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam and Deidra Woodward.

Afoa, of Kapolei, HI, will play her next season at Division I Eastern Washington University in Cheney. She was the NWAACC Baden Player of the Year in 2012, the West Region Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, the NWAACC Tournament MVP in 2012 and an NWAACC All-Star in 2012 and 2013.

“Bri leaves here with her name everywhere in our record books,” Anderson said. “I suspect she will have that same kind of legacy at Eastern Washington.”

Armstrong, of Olympia, landed a scholarship at Division I Louisiana Tech University, located just east of Shreveport. The midfielder and team captain was an NWAACC All-Academic winner and an NWAACC All-Star in 2013.

“Annie is the best defensive midfielder in the league in my opinion,” Anderson said. “Her toughness and ball winning ability make her a special player.“

   TUKWILA – The storied Peninsula College soccer program continues to write history.

   Dating back to the first soccer title match in 1974, no college had ever won back-to-back championships with both its women’s and men’s teams until the Pirates completed their second straight dream season Sunday night with thrilling victories over Edmonds and Clark in the 2013 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Soccer Championships, held at the Starfire Sports Complex.

   Peninsula’s soccer program is a family. They share coaches, they train together, they travel together and they are each other’s biggest supporters. On Sunday night, they celebrated and cried tears of joy together, hoisting their trophies, posing for photos and enjoying the fruit of labor that began on a practice field back in mid-August.

   “It was definitely one for the history books,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “We have something going on here that is pretty special. Great coaches, great student athletes and great fans.”

   “I know we were the favorites, but the NWAACC is loaded with great athletes and great coaches and our kids had to work hard to repeat – and it didn’t come easily. We had some adversity. We had a call that didn’t go our way in the women’s match on Saturday and we had a starter who was injured in our men’s match on Saturday, and both teams rose to the occasion and brought back the trophies. I couldn’t be more proud.”

   The largest crowds of the tournament where there in black and gold, many sporting Pirate scarves, to see it unfold and to cheer on the Pirates through two windy and rainy semifinals on Saturday – and then more stormy weather on Sunday.

   For the men, currently ranked seventh in the nation, it was their third NWAACC Championship in four years. The road to the championship was also historic, as the Pirates, who held the No. 1 ranking in the NWAACC from post to post, finished with a 21-0-2 record, the best ever by an NWAACC men’s soccer team.

   The women also did something no NWAACC team has ever done. In just the fourth season of soccer at Peninsula, the women made three championship match appearances and posted two titles. They went 20-2-0 and were unbeaten against community college opponents. They finished the season ranked No. 13 among the nation’s junior colleges and also as the No. 1 team in the NWAACC.

   Alex Martinez repeated as the men’s Most Valuable Player of the Tournament and Dominique Niedziela won the Tournament MVP award for the women.

TUKWILA - Peninsula College soccer fans who can't make the trip can check out the 2013 NWAACC Finals Live on UStream.

The Pirate women play Walla Walla in one semifinal at 1:00 on Saturday and the PC men also play Walla Walla in their semi at 6:00. The winners play in the NWAACC Championship matches Sunday at 3:00 and 5:30.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE!

   PORT ANGELES – The West Division champion Pirates dominated the All-Star voting, placing eight women and eight men on the NWAACC South/West All-Star Teams, as announced Tuesday by the NWAACC.

   Sophomore Bri Afoa was named Most Valuable Player for the South/West women for the second straight year and her counterpart on the men’s team, Alex Martinez, earned the MVP award for the men.

   “Bri and Alex are two outstanding soccer players and are very deserving of the MVP awards,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “Their ability to score goals is uncanny, but it’s also the product of sharing the turf with outstanding teammates. We have eight players on each of the two All-Star teams - and still the voters left some outstanding Pirate women and men on the table. Our two teams are talented, deep and very well coached and the All-Star balloting certainly reflects that.”

   PORT ANGELES - The Pirate women and men punched their tickets to the NWAACC Soccer Final Four with thrilling bookend 2-1 quarterfinal playoff victories in front of the home fans Saturday at Sigmar Field.

   The NWAACC’s top-ranked PC women will take on third-ranked Walla Walla in one NWAACC Semifinal Saturday at 1:00 at the Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, following the other semi matching fourth-ranked Clackamas against fifth-ranked Edmonds which kicks off at 10:30.

   The No. 1 PC men also tackle Walla Walla, ranked No. 3, at 6 p.m. Saturday at Starfire. The other men’s semifinal matches second-ranked Clark against fifth-ranked Highline at 3:30.

   PORT ANGELES – All jinxing aside, the road to the NWAACC Soccer Final Four goes through Sigmar Field for the Peninsula College women and men where the women have never lost and the men haven’t lost since the 2009 season when the field still had a grass surface.

   The Pirate women, ranked 14th in the nation and first in the NWAACC, host Whatcom at 11:00 Saturday in the first half of an NWAACC Quarterfinal Playoff doubleheader. The Pirate men, ranked eighth in the nation and also first in the NWAACC, host Edmonds at 1:15. The winners of those two playoff matches advance to the NWAACC Final Four, set for Nov. 16-17 at the Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila.

    “Our teams play great soccer on every pitch, but especially at Sigmar Field,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “We’re looking for a big crowd to come out and help them advance to the Final Four where we have all of the pieces in place to repeat as NWAACC champions. We are well coached, we’re mostly healthy, we’re talented, and we’re very focused. There are other great programs in the NWAACC who are gunning for us, but it all starts Saturday. If we can take care of business on our home turf, in front of our home fans, I like our chances next week at Starfire.”

   Admission to Saturday’s playoff matches is free. 

Men’s Quarterfinal

   The Pirate men will be making their seventh straight appearance in the Quarterfinal Playoffs. A win would send them to the Final Four for the third straight year, where they have won two NWAACC championships (2010, 2012). The Pirate men, riding the wave of their fifth straight West Division title, will tackle Edmonds, the second-place finisher from the North. The Tritons advanced to the Quarterfinal round with a 3-0 win over Pierce, the third-place finisher from the South, in a First Round Playoff Wednesday night at Edmonds.

The Peninsula College men’s and women’s soccer teams are not only ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC for their accomplishments on soccer fields all over Washington and Oregon, but they also lead all community college soccer programs in the same two-state region in the number of student athletes earning NWAACC All-Academic Honors this year.

PORT ANGELES – The reigning champions brought new meaning to that expression in Saturday’s regular season finale at Sigmar Field.

PORT ANGELES – It was “Sophomore Day” for the Pirate men Wednesday, playing their final regular season home match against Bellevue, a team desperately trying to stay alive in the West Division playoff race.

Sophomores Lachlan Bond, Mark Cottrell, Kalei Gallarde, Angel Guerra, Alex Martinez, Corbin May, Zachary Newton and Erick Urzua, who have put together the two most impressive back-to-back years in the history of the storied Peninsula College men’s soccer program, all started and all contributed to a 4-0 shutout against a talented Bulldog club.

The Pirates continue to re-write the record books – and Martinez closed in on Miguel Gonzalezs’ career scoring record of 49 goals. The sophomore forward from Reno, Nevada, scored twice against Bellevue to push his career scoring mark to 47. His 26 goals this season leads the NWAACC in scoring.

Apollon, a freshman from Portland, Oregon, who leads the NWAACC in assists with 15 and is third in scoring, tallied his 15th goal of the season against Bellevue. Also scoring late in the match was Hugo Marques on a penalty kick.

Urzua, also from Portland, assisted on three of Peninsula’s goals.

Guerra, a sophomore keeper from Wenatchee, earned his NWAACC-leading 10th shutout.

The NWAACC’s top-ranked Pirates, who finished 12-0-1 in West Division play to win their fifth straight West title, and 18-0-2 overall, will host a quarter-final playoff match at 1:15 on Nov. 9 against the winner of the Nov. 6 First Round playoff between the second place team in the North and the third place team in the South.

Pirate women 4, Bellevue 1

The top-ranked Peninsula women, West Division champions for the third straight season, went right to work dispatching third-place Bellevue. The NWAACC’s 2012 Badan Player of the Year, Bri Afoa, of Kapolei, Hawaii, had been quiet of late, at least by her standards, but she woke up on Wednesday scoring just two minutes into the match off an assist by Alexandra Rojas-Ayala – and she added two more to secure the hat trick, assisted by Larkyn Nelson and Brenda Torres.

PORT ANGELES – The Pirate women and men, who clinched West Division championships last week, are heading into their final regular season home matches this week with three things on their mind: honoring their sophomores, defending their home win streak and preparing themselves for the opportunity

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