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Women's soccer: Pirates are heads above the rest
Peninsula's Pirates get to take on one of the top teams in the NWAACC each week — in practice.
Seems those intrasquad scrimmages are paying off.
P.C. stayed perfect in conference play with a pair of impressive wins last week, knocking off No. 4-ranked Highline 4-0 on Oct. 2 and Clark — a team just out of the NWAACC rankings — by the same score on Oct. 5, both in the friendly confines of Sigmar Field in Port Angeles.
"We're comfortable playing at home; that's a big advantage," Peninsula coach Kanyon Anderson said.
Against Highline, P.C. wasted little time taking control of the match. Bri Afoa, the 2012 NWAACC Player of the Year, found the net just nine minutes in off an assist from Bronte Fitzsimmons. Brenda Torres then made it 2-0 just seven minutes later, converting off a cross from Gabriela Gonzalez. Afoa made it 3-0 before halftime, converting a pass from Brittney Yoshimura.
Paxton Rodocker added an penalty kick score in the second half.
Outside backer Hailey Berg said the Pirates, now ranked No. 2 in the NWAACC behind Walla Walla, are strong thanks to the team's focus and hard work.
"We mostly focus on what we have to do (not on the other team)," Berg said. "Especially lately — we've been leaning how to be tougher."
Anderson said the win was a solid all-around team effort, from center-back Shelbi Vienna-Hallam and keeper Emily Flinn on defense to Annie Armstrong and Brenda Torres in the midfield.
The wet conditions didn't hurt, either.
"We have good team speed. We're athletic and deep. Some of our opponents drop off a little bit (with substitutions)," Anderson said.
"The pressure was on Highline to come in and beat us," he said.
Three days later, Clark was no match for the Pirates as Afoa scored two first-half goals and assisted another in a 4-0 whitewashing. Armstrong and Alyssa Bertuleit each had scores as Kasie Lough recorded the shutout in goal.
Berg likes the Pirates' chances to repeat as conference champs.
"We have different strengths (than last year's team) to take it all the way," she said.
The Pirates host Olympic on Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. and play at Bellevue on Oct. 12.