Men’s soccer: No. 3-ranked Pirates earn share of West crown

If Peninsula's Pirates are going to earn an NWAC three-peat, they'll have to travel a road a bit longer.

If Peninsula’s Pirates are going to earn an NWAC three-peat, they’ll have to travel a road a bit longer.

P.C., seeking its third title in a row and fourth conference championship in five years, knocked off Olympic on Oct. 31 to earn a share of the West Division and takes a second seed to the conference playoffs.

The co-championship for Peninsula (9-1-3 in conference, 12-1-4 overall) is the seventh in the 14-year history of the men’s program and sixth in a row. But the West Division’s top seed goes to rival No. 2-ranked Highline (9-1-3, 10-2-4), who held the postseason tiebreaker.

Peninsula hosts unranked Pierce, the third-place team from the South Division, at 1 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Sigmar Field in Port Angeles. The winner travels to North Idaho (15-1-2 overall), the top-ranked NWAC team on Nov. 8, for a shot at the conference Final Four.

“Our men have been outright West champions for four straight years, so this path presents them with some adversity, but the NWAC championship is going through North Idaho one way or another, so we’ll focus on Pierce on Wednesday and then hopefully we’ll get a shot at NIC,” Rick Ross, Director of Athletics at Peninsula College, said.

The Pirates will face a scrappy Pierce team that managed to sneak into the playoffs with just four wins, scoring 22 goals and allowing 45.

The No. 3-ranked Pirates secured second place in the West after toppling Olympic 5-2, getting off to a quick start as Steven Rodriguez headed in a Trevan Estrellado crossing pass at the 13-minute mark. Peninsula made it 2-0 with eight minutes remaining in the half when Chris Chertude crossed a ball to the far post, where Victor Sanchez knocked it in.

Olympic rallied to tie the score with a pair of goals in the second half, but the Pirates responded. Micah Weller scored in the 77th minute, Sanchez hit his second goal of the match in the 83rd minute and Rodriguez got his second score for some insurance with three minutes remaining.

Despite a sluggish finish — two wins, four ties and one loss in their final seven matches — the Pirates remain nationally ranked at No. 12 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Junior College Division I Men’s Soccer Poll.

The Pirates are led by Caio Maciel, a sophomore midfielder from Salvador, Brazil, who’s 10 goals ranked eighth in the NWAC in scoring. Eddie Benito has six goals and Chertude, Kassio Monteiro and Micah Weller have four each. Estrellado, a freshman midfielder from Cheney, leads the team in assists with five, ranking him ninth in the conference.

NWAC West Division standings (final)

Team Conf. Overall

Highline 9-1-3 9-2-4

Peninsula  9-1-3 12-1-4

Bellevue 5-6-2 7-6-2

Tacoma 5-6-2 8-8-2

Olympic 0-12-1 2-14-2

 

 

 

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