In control throughout, the Peninsula College women’s soccer team knocked off Lane 3-0 in a Northwest Athletic Conference quarterfinal Saturday, Nov. 4, at Wally Sigmar Field.
The unbeaten Pirates (19-0-0) move on to their seventh consecutive NWAC semifinals appearance and will take on Tacoma on Friday, Nov. 10, at 12:30 p.m. at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
“A 3-0 win in a playoff game is awesome and we go to the final four,” Peninsula coach Kanyon Anderson said. “I told the team that at this time of the year (postseason) really there is no style points. It’s about getting it done.”
The Pirates steadily built pressure on the Titans (11-6-2) early in the first half, highlighted by a booming shot by Janis Martinez-Ortiz, a sure goal, except the strike soundly struck the center of the crossbar and was saved by the Lane goalkeeper.
Peninsula earned corner kicks in the 35, 36th and 37th minutes and came away empty each time.
But the Pirates broke through in the 42nd minute.
Substitute Taylor Graham came on in place of NWAC-leading scorer Sydney Warren moments prior and immediately made an impact, sending a ball through the goal box that Jordyn Dicintio just missed off the bounce and drawing a short free kick that was put out of play for a Peninsula corner.
Dicintio then sent in an accurate corner kick to the far-back post and centerback Sam Guzman was there to head the ball in for a 1-0 Peninsula lead at halftime.
“I thought we missed some really good chances in the first half but we were scrappy when we needed to be and we got three (goals).
“The first couple of corners (Dicintio) didn’t hit them like she normally does, but after that she was dialed in as usual.”
Dicintio leads the NWAC in assists with 29.
The Pirates added their second goal in the 60th minute when a Dicintio corner trickled out to Martinez-Ortiz who sent it in for a 2-0 lead — a well-earned payback for coming so close early in the game.
“We are a super-talented team, we work really hard and we want it,” Martinez-Ortiz said.
“We won all the [50-50] air balls, and it was pretty hard with their tall girl in the middle.
“I think we were strongest in the middle, we connected and we were strong mentally.”
Graham added an insurance goal in the 76th minute to see the Pirates through.
“Taylor is a really dangerous striker,” Anderson said. “She plays the position in a unique way which is nice. So we know what we are going to get from her and our opponents don’t, so that’s a huge tactical advantage. We give her a lot of freedom to go where she wants to go and do what she wants to do, and all our players have that kind of freedom but she runs with it a little more.”
Lane’s best chance came on a shot that beat Pirates’ goalkeeper Akari Hoshino but bounced off the far left post with the game already decided in the 88th minute.
It was the only major defensive slip-up on the day, for a composed and organized Peninsula back line.
“I thought Malia Brudvik was awesome at outside back,” Anderson said. “She was marking their most dangerous attacker for most of the game and she did an awesome job of it.
“Sam was organized, got a goal from center-back, (and) Halle (Watson) was good, I thought our whole back line was solid, except for that last shot off the post.”
Peninsula will now head off to the NWAC semifinals riding a 37-match winning streak, with the goal of adding two more wins to that tally and bringing home the school’s fourth women’s soccer title.
Tacoma (15-5-2), the No. 2 seed out of the West Division, knocked off Clackamas 1-0 in the NWAC tourney’s first round, then bounced Walla Walla, the East Region’s top sedd, 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
Tacoma went 12-2-2 in conference play. They are led by Isabelle Creighton, whose 24 goals rank second in the NWAC behind PC’s Warren.