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Women's soccer: Pirates get No. 1 ranking, survive at Highline
Leave it to Briana and Brianna.
Peninsula needed scores from both freshmen Briana Afoa and Brianna Estrallado in a key early season matchup, downing Highline on the road 2-1 on Sept. 19.
Afoa scored an unassisted goal just before halftime. Highline's Tayler Holtman evened the contest at 73 minutes, but Estrallado took a feed from Rachel Sandoval and netted a score six minutes later, and Peninsula held on for the win.
The game could have been a recipe for disaster, P.C. coach Kanyon Anderson said; on the same day the Pirates were named No. 1 in the NWAACC coaches' poll, their team bus broke down and gave Peninsula players just 12 minutes to warm up.
"We could have scored four or five goals (but) we got just enough to get the victory," Anderson said. "I never felt like we were in danger of losing the game, but I did feel we might come out with a draw."
Highline was a dangerous draw for Peninsula despite a modest record, Anderson said; the Thunderbirds were missing some key players early on but look to be at full strength now.
"That was the best team we've seen (this season)," he said.
The victory helped P.C. keep pace with Bellevue, who improved to 3-0 in conference play the same day with a win against Olympic.
Peninsula has scored 52 goals this season — nearly twice as many as any other NWAACC club — and has given up just six scores.
The Pirates are at Lower Columbia (Longview) tomorrow, Sept. 26, and host No. 3-ranked Spokane, the East Division powerhouse, on Sept. 29; game time is noon.
Attacking the Yaks
Peninsula made quick work of the visiting club from Yakima Valley on Saturday, jumping out to a 5-1 lead by halftime and finishing off the Yaks, 9-1.
Iren Jones had two first-half scores while Jordan Dinneen had two second-half scores and two assists in the victory.
"It was another fantastic offensive outing for us," Anderson said. "We continue to win the midfield battle and create scoring opportunities. We have become efficient in finishing those chances as well."
Other Pirates with scores included Afoa, Dominique Niedziela, Annie Armstrong, Deidra Woodward and Melissa Delgado. Sydney Bullington and Shelbi Vienna-Hallam had two assists each.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.