The dream is still alive.
Peninsula College’s women’s soccer squad is headed to Tukwila for the NWAC Final Four after getting by Treasure Valley 1-0 in Port Angeles on Nov. 9, keeping hopes of a conference championship three-peat in the Pirates’ sights.
The top-ranked Peninsula women (15-1-2) take on No. 5-ranked Lane (15-2-2) at 1 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the NWAC semifinal at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The South division champion Titans advanced to the semis with a 2-1 win over Shoreline on Saturday in their quarterfinal.
Before large crowd at Sigmar Field on Sunday, the four-time West Division champion Pirates battled Treasure Valley to a scoreless tie in the quarterfinal matchup before Kai Muhaka took a feed from Lexi Krieger for the game’s only score at the 73-minute mark.
Emily Flinn (two saves) and the P.C. defense stepped up with the shutout, Peninsula’s conference-leading 19th shutout of the season. Flinn has yet to be scored on this season.
Sunday’s win did not come easily for P.C. Despite outshooting the visiting Chukars 16-4, the Pirates struggled to score against the East Division runner-ups. Ranked No. 6 coming into the contest, Treasure Valley put up the first two serious threats to score. The first was a shot that rimmed off the inside of the goal but didn’t cross the line, before it was cleared by a Pirate defender. The second was when Alex Rivera’s shot banged off the crossbar and teammate Merhaweet Sahlezghi knocked it into the net, only for the score to be called back thanks to an offsides violation.
A penalty and free kick led to Peninsula’s game-winner. Krieger took the free kick and put it on the near corner of the goal where Mahuka managed to redirect the ball in traffic and it rolled across the goal line.
It’s the fourth consecutive year in the five-year history of the program that the Pirates have qualified for the NWAC Final Four. They placed second in 2011 and then won the Washington-Oregon community college soccer championship in 2012 and 2013.
Peninsula’s women have not lost at Sigmar Field in the facility’s four years of existence.
Looking ahead to Lane
Lane Community College, located in Eugene, Ore., launched women’s soccer in 2005. The Titans just missed the playoffs that year, but have qualified every year since, placing second in the South Division six times and third twice.
“Lane is a solid team from top to bottom,” Peninsula head coach Kanyon Anderson said. “They don’t give up many goals and they don’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses. They started a bit slowly on the season, but have gone 15-1-0 in their last 16 with 11 shutouts.”
Anderson also had high praise for Taylor Boyer, a sophomore midfielder who transferred to Lane from the University of Oregon.
“They have the most dangerous goal scorer in the league,” he said of Boyer. “She can hurt you if you lose sight of her for a second. We will have to play an intelligent, focused game to win.”