Spokane may have one of the top scorers in the conference. On Saturday, Peninsula proved it has plenty of scoring to go around.
The host Pirates got scores from Jordan Dinneen, Emilia Stefanko and Shelbi Vienna-Hallam and held off Lateashea Currie and the No. 3-ranked Sasquatch, 3-2, as Peninsula defended its top ranking.
The Pirates struck early, when Rachel Sandoval crossed the ball to Dinneen on the far post and the Pirate sophomore put it into the back of the net just three minutes into the match. Spokane tied the score 28 minutes in on a goal by Rainey Pelzel and the score stood 1-1 at halftime.
Just four minutes into the second half, Stefanko made good on an assist from Briana Afoa, blasting the ball past the Spokane keeper for the go-ahead goal.
Ten minutes later, Vienna-Hallam put her head on a Stefanko corner kick and directed it into the mesh for a 3-1 Pirate lead.
Currie knocked home a score booted one home to close the gap to 3-2.
The Pirate back line, anchored by sophomore Aubrey Briscoe, held off Spokane for the Pirates’ 11th win in as many games.
“It was a tense match, but the big home crowd really helped us,” said Peninsula athletic director Rick Ross.
The Sasquatch women were coming off a 1-1 tie against second-ranked and defending NWAACC champion Walla Walla.
Peninsula warmed up for the showdown with Spokane by knocking off Lower Columbia 3-0 on Sept. 26 in Longview.
Afoa scored in the first minute off a pass from Annie Armstrong. Dinneen followed with a goal two minutes later, also coming off an Armstrong assist. Peninsula added an insurance goal in the 66th minute when Vienna-Hallam found Sandoval for a score.
Denae Brooks earned the shutout in net.
The Pirates host Tacoma today, Oct. 3, at Sigmar Field; game time is 4 p.m.
Peninsula travels to Walla Walla on Oct. 6, a rematch of the 2011 NWAACC title game.