Sports

Men's soccer: Pirates are best in the West

 

A fourth consecutive division title, and the fifth in six years.

But it wasn't easy.

Peninsula got two scores from sophomore Daniel Gonzalez in the first half and held on for a 2-1 victory against second place Highline, locking up the division, a top seed and first round bye heading into the NWAACC playoffs in November.

"As always when playing Highline, it (was) an intense, hard-fought game," Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman said.

Gonzalez got the Pirates on the board with a score in the sixth minute off an assist from Alex Martinez. About 25 minutes later, it was Richard Gallarde setting up Gonzalez for the 2-0 lead P.C. took into halftime. 

Highline's David Loeung halved the lead with a score in the 55th minute, but Peninsula keeper Guilherme Avelar came up big with eight saves to preserve the victory.

"There (were) a lot of emotions in today’s game but our players played extremely well," Chapman said. "Guilherme had a great game in goal with some very big saves for us."

Earlier in the week, Peninsula survived a 1-0 game at Bellevue, with Gonzalez scoring the game's lone goal at 56 minutes off an assist from Zac Newton.

Peninsula outshot the Bulldogs 21-4 but other than the sophomore's tally couldn't find the net. 

Avelar had three saves to record a shutout.

"We didn't play a very inspired game today," Chapman said. "We went through the motions and lucky for us that was good enough for the win."

The Pirates are at Tacoma on Oct. 27 and at Olympic on Oct. 31 before finishing the regular season Nov. 3 with a home date versus Bellevue.

"To clinch the title so early is huge for us because it will allow us to rest players and prepare for playoffs," Chapman said.

The NWAACC playoffs start Nov. 7.

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