Sports

Men's soccer: On to the playoffs

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A second-half score by Alex Martinez helped top-ranked Peninsula avoid its first conference loss in its final tune-up for the NWAACC playoffs.

Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman saw plenty of positives in the 1-1 tie with division rival Bellevue on Nov. 3.

"With our quarterfinal game a week away, this was a good game to get under our belt," Chapman said. "We were able to rest players and play others and try new things."

After a scoreless first half, Bellevue opened the scoring when Bryan Forbes found Juan Ramirez for a tally, just the second game this season — and second game in a row — in which the division champion Pirates didn't score first.

Martinez got the equalizer seven minutes later off an Omar Ambrocio assist.
Peninsula outshot the Bulldogs, 14-4.

"Even though the game didn't go the way we would have liked it, this could be a blessing," Chapman said. "Last year, we went the entire season without having this feeling only (to) lose in the semifinals."

Three days earlier, Peninsula wrapped up the 2012 road schedule with an 8-1 blowout of Olympic.

The Rangers opened the scoring at 15 minutes, but Peninsula rebounded with five scores before halftime, including four in the final eight minutes of the opening half. Martinez tallied a hat trick (three goals) while Erick Urzua had a pair of scores.

Peninsula outshot Olympic, 20-5.

The Pirates finish the regular season with an NWAACC-leading 82 goals and just 10 goals against, amassing 12 shutouts. Martinez finishes second in the conference in goals scored with 19 and tops the NWAACC with 12 assists. 

Daniel Gonzalez is fifth in conference scoring (16 goals) while Urzua is tied for second in the conference in assists (10).

On to the playoffs

In the second round of the NWAACC playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 10, Peninsula takes on either Chemeketa, the South Division's No. 2 seed, or Spokane, the East's No. 3 seed.

Game time is 1 p.m., following the Peninsula women's playoff game.

Wyatt Brown leads the Chemeketa Storm with 17 goals, fourth in the conference, and seven assists.

Isaac Peter leads the Spokane Sasquatch with nine scores.

A first for P.C.

The Peninsula men earned their first national ranking in October, entering the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Junior College Division I Top-20 Poll at No. 10.

Along with the Peninsula women's soccer ranking (No. 11), this year marks the first time in Peninsula College's history that a soccer team was nationally ranked, P.C. athletic director Rick Ross said.

"It's a tribute to the hard work of our coaching staff and our players, and the support of our fans," Ross said. 

Both Peninsula teams have owned the No. 1 ranking in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll since it was released a few weeks into the season.

See www.nscaa.com/rankings.
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