Sports

Pirates rip Rangers 5-0

While the NWAACC playoff picture may be unclear, Peninsula left little doubt which team was the most capable on the pitch Saturday afternoon.

The Pirates got five goals from five players in 50 minutes in a 5-0 blanking of Olympic on Oct. 24.

The win helps the Pirates

(5-2-3 in conference, 9-4-4 overall) keep pace with Bellevue for the NWAACC West division lead, as the Bulldogs (5-2-3, 9-4-3) knocked off third-place Highline 3-1 on Saturday.

"It's very muddy water," Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman said about the Pirates' playoff standing. "It means it'll be a fight to the end. We just have to keep winning."

For 43 minutes, it looked as if P.C. might have a problem defending its home turf against the winless visitors from Bremerton. Olympic held Peninsula scoreless until Cody Sloan, in just his second game back from a nagging ankle injury, took a pass from Aaron Oppeltz and snuck it past the Ranger keeper for a 1-0 halftime lead.

Peninsula broke it open early in the second half: John Troka converted an Oppeltz assist for a score at 48 minutes; at 56 minutes, Steve Williams found the net for his sixth score of the season off a Mike Avey pass to make it 3-0; Jay Kang slipped a pass to Avey at 69 minutes to slide it past the Olympic keeper; and Lucas Costa capped the scoring with just two minutes left thanks to an Oppeltz assist, his third of the contest.

"We had our shutout (and) we got to play a lot of our guys," Chapman said.

Peninsula out-shot Olympic 20-4 while Jase Hall, the Pirate keeper, earned the shutout.

A last-minute goal spared Peninsula from an upset at the hands (and feet) of the Tacoma Titans earlier last week.

Sloan converted a penalty kick after a handball call in the 90th minute allowed the Pirates to even the Oct. 22 match in Tacoma at 1-1 and leave with a draw.

Tacoma, the fourth-place team in the five-team NWAACC West, got a score with six minutes left from Steven Cumbee and looked to knock off the No. 4-ranked Pirates, until Sloan's first goal of the 2009 season evened it.

Peninsula out-shot Tacoma 14-6 but couldn't capitalize on several early chances.

"We had a great first half, getting the run of play and having the ball the majority of the time," said Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman.

"(But) we were upset that we didn't walk away with three points."

The Pirates are back in action on Oct. 28 at Highline, their final regular season road game.

That contest and a Nov. 4 date with Bellevue figure to make or break the Pirates' chances for a West Division title and all-important bye in the NWAACC playoff's first round.

Peninsula also hosts Tacoma on Nov. 7.

The playoffs begin Nov. 11 with top seeds from each division getting byes. No. 2 seeds host games versus third seeds from other divisions.



Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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