Both the Peninsula College men and women’s soccer seasons came to heartbreaking ends in bitter cold Saturday night, Nov. 5, in the Northwest Athletic Conference quarterfinals held at Wally Sigmar Field in Port Angeles.
The women lost in a shootout to Spokane College, the only team all year the Pirates couldn’t beat. The men lost 2-0 to Walla Walla in a game that started an hour late because of the length of the women’s match.
Peninsula tied with Spokane 3-3 in the Pirates’ opening game of the year back in August.
After that match, the women shut out 11 out of their next 12 opponents, gave up just one goal the rest of the season and went undefeated and untied, looking to match the remarkable records set by last year’s NWAC-champion Pirates squad.
Spokane came in with a solid 13-2-3 record of its own.
The women got off to a good start against the Sasquatch with a quick goal in just the seventh minute from Briana-Jean Tanaka on a corner kick. The assist went to Chiaki Takase.
Port Angeles’ Millie Long followed up with a goal in the 38th minute with an assist to Sydney Soskis, who beat a defender in the box and made a nice pass to a wide-open Long. The women took a 2-0 lead into the half and maintained that lead until the 65th minute when Spokane scored on a long, high shot from 35 yards out that just got over goalkeeper Frida Markstrom’s outstretched hands.
The Sasquatch added a goal in the 71st minute on a scramble in front of the net after a free kick to tie the match at 2-2.
The score remained tied for the next 39-plus minutes as the teams went through two overtimes without scoring, sending the game to a shootout.
The women got off to a great start in the shootout as Markstrom made a save on Spokane’s first penalty kick. The Pirates’ Lauren La Fountain and Chiaki Takase converted penalty kicks as Peninsula took a 2-1 lead.
Spokane goalkeeper Kiah Gary stopped a kick from Peninsula’s Long to take away Peninsula’s advantage. The Sasquatch kept converting all of their kicks as the penalty phase stretched out to a 4-4 tie.
The Pirates’ Allysun Gerke missed the net over the crossbar, giving the Sasquatch an opening. One make and Spokane had the match. Spokane converted on the opportunity as Madison Maloney made her kick to give the Sasquatch a 5-4 win on the kicks.
The Peninsula men had three golden chances to score, but all three times the ball stayed out.
Walla Walla got its first goal in the 23rd minute on a slow, seeing-eye shot that just bounced in past Pirates keeper Alejandro Lopez.
The Pirates had their best shot in the 40th minute when a long kick by Fernando Tavares looked like it had a chance to go in, but it bounced off the crossbar.
They came close again in the 86th minute on a sharp angle shot from the wing by Abdurahim Leigh got past the Warriors’ goalkeeper, but it just went wide of the far post.
The Warriors got their second goal in the 89th minute. A Walla Walla player was tripped in the penalty area. Though it appeared the Peninsula defender got to the ball before tripping his opponent, a penalty in the box was called. Walla Walla converted the penalty kick to take a 2-0 lead late.
The Peninsula women end their season with a 12-1-1 record and had a remarkable nine-game scoreless streak. The men finish their season 15-3-3, winning a brutal North Region championship against three other powerful teams.