Sports

Pirates clinch playoffs

by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette

A full offseason, 19 games and 359 days.

 

That’s the last time Peninsula’s men’s soccer squad walked off a pitch without a win to show for it.

 

After building a 3-1 lead by halftime, the Pirates gave up three second half goals and had to settle for a 4-4 tie with West Division Tacoma; this, despite outshooting the Titans 9-5.

 

Peninsula got goals from Dean Gaynor, Miguel Gonzalez and Justin Skowron in the first half.

 

But Tacoma got scores from Chris Rothrock and Timmothy Jewett to tie the game at 3-3.

 

The No. 1-ranked Pirates looked like they may have had the game-winner at 66 minutes when Miguel Gonzalez found his brother Daniel for a score. But Titan Alex Vogt knotted the game 11 minutes later.

 

“We had a good first half and then in the second half we gave up a 3-1 lead,” Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman said.

 

The Pirates (9-0-1 in conference play, 15-0-1 overall) last lost on Oct. 27, 2010, to division rival Highline.

Peninsula takes on that same rival on the road Oct. 26, then hosts Olympic on Oct. 29. P.C. finishes the regular season at Bellevue on Nov. 5.

 

The NWAACC playoffs start Nov. 9 but Peninsula can earn a first round bye and kick off the playoffs in the quarterfinals on Nov. 12 with a West Division championship.

Peninsula overpowers Bellevue

In past years, the Peninsula-Bellevue men’s soccer rivalry often has been a key factor in the fight for the West Division title.

 

But Bellevue has slipped to fourth in the division and Peninsula wasn’t about to help out the Bulldogs.

Gaynor scored two first-half goals and Jared Wilson made 10 saves as the Pirates blanked Bellevue 4-0 on Oct. 19.

 

“This was a great win today,” Chapman said.

 

With the win, Peninsula clinched a playoff spot, the Pirates’ seventh in as many years.

 

“We really moved the ball and played hard today,” Chapman said. “We had a little lapse for a couple of minutes in the first but we were able to ride it out. The second half was fantastic (as) we really started to use our outside mids.”

 

Gaynor opened the scoring at seven minutes coming off a rebound, then added another at 17 minutes off a feed from Tyrone Warren.

 

Miguel Gonzalez, the NWAACC’s leading scorer, broke through the Bellevue defense for a score at the 70-minute mark, with Sean Prizeman setting him up.

 

Gonzalez returned the favor 12 minutes later, as Prizeman recorded his eighth goal of the campaign.

 

Peninsula outshot Bellevue 18-14, but the Bulldogs had numerous opportunities to score. Wilson earned the shutout after recording a number of diving stops.

 

Peninsula got a strong defensive performance out of Dustin Walsh and Jeff Mullen, as well as some solid midfield play from Skowron and Daniel Gonzalez.

 

 

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

 

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