Sports

Pirates are golden

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By MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette

 

In between regulation and overtime periods, Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman corralled his team and asked for someone to step up and be a hero.

 

Turns out he got a whole roster full of them.

 

The Pirates captured the first NWAACC championship in school history, edging division rival Highline 5-4 on penalty kicks Sunday night in Tukwila.

 

Keeper Jared Wilson made a sliding stop on Highline's fifth attempt, and freshman Yan Gioseffi connected on P.C.'s fifth consecutive penalty kick score to secure the title.

 

Wilson's efforts earned him the tournament Most Valuable Player Award.

 

"Perfect ending," said freshman midfielder Tyler Hindmarch.

 

While Peninsula's first appearance in the championship wasn't unexpected - they had been ranked No. 1, 2 or 3 in the NWAACC poll all season - Highline was the West division's No. 3 seed and needed a pair of playoff road wins to get to the final four.

 

But the Thunderbirds had knocked off Peninsula twice this season by identical 1-0 counts.

 

"It's a rematch we wanted," Gonzalez said.

 

Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman said he figured Sunday evening's game would be a tight one.

 

"We had a feeling it could be a 0-0 game all the way through," he said. "They (Peninsula players) were mostly freshmen (but) the nerves were not there. They knew they belonged here."

 

For two 45-minute halves and a pair of 10-minute overtime periods, the teams slugged it out, trying to catch a break or bad pass or penalty in the box.

 

And for 110-plus minutes, it didn't come.

 

Not that the teams didn't have chances.

 

Needing extra time

Miguel Gonzalez, who was named West Region's MVP before Sunday's finale, put a hard shot on goal at the 14-minute mark that Highline keeper Bryan Murray deflected. P.C.'s Patrick Wolverton had the rebound but couldn't place it in the net. Highline controlled much of the first half, but Peninsula's stingy defense and Wilson kept the net clean.

 

Hindmarch had a shot near halftime that whistled over the net then had another breakaway early in the second half that was knocked away by a diving Murray.

 

Peninsula's Matt Stefanko and Brian Holguin each had shots on goal in the overtime period.

 

It would take soccer's final tiebreaker to decide the winner. With Highline up first, Amos Nistrian found the upper-left corner, putting Highline up 1-0 in the shootout.

 

Gonzalez went upper right corner. Tied, 1-1.

 

Then Highline's Tody Tolo went left past Wilson. Highline, 2-1.

 

Peninsula's Jeff Mullen went left past Murray. Tied, 2-2.

 

Highline's Zachary Taylor went to his left. Highline, 3-2.

 

P.C.'s Brian Holguin went upper right-hand corner. Tied, 3-3.

 

Highline's Kevin Bodle went left again. Highline, 4-3.

 

Peninsula's Jake Hughes found the right-hand corner. Tied, 4-4.

 

Highline's fifth shot came from Kyle Danielson. The freshman went lower right-hand corner, and Wilson guesses correctly.

 

"I couldn't believe the ball was in my hand," Wilson said later.

 

All that was left was Gioseffi's shot, which sailed by Murray, setting off a celebration Peninsula College has been waiting for for decades. The last school title was the men's basketball team crown in 1970.

 

Amazing," said Hughes, a freshman from London, England. "It's just our first year together."

 

Gonzalez said the team's success is simple: hard work and teamwork.

 

"We play together as a team ... and every practice is working hard."

 

Chapman said this team has set a high standard for teams to come.

 

Before leaving the field, he had a request of college president Thomas Keegan, who was on hand Sunday to witness the championship: under the scoreboard at the newly-refurbished college field, a banner reading "2010 NWAACC champs."

 

Pirate earn postseason honors

Five men and one woman from Peninsula College soccer squads were named to NWAACC all-star teams.

 

Gonzalez, the Pirate freshman who set a school record this fall for goals in a season with 14, was named West Region's most valuable player. He also had four assists.

 

Joining him on the all-star squad are defenders Mullen and Brent Ricigliano, midfielder Hindmarch and Wilson, P.C.'s goalkeeper.

 

Wilson had five shutouts and 53 saves in 15 games.

 

 

Hindmarch had five goals and two assists.

 

Ricigliano had a goal and three assists in limited time (12 games) while Mullen added three assists. They helped the Pirates give up just 17 scores in 17 regular-season contests.

 

Andrew Chapman was named West Region Coach of the Year, his third such award in the past four seasons.

 

In the Pirates' inaugural women's season, Peninsula freshman midfielder Jackie Rodgers was named an all-star. Rodgers tied for the team lead with five goals and led the squad with six assists.

 

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

 

 

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