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PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College women’s soccer team continues to advance toward its first NWAACC championship after shutting out Lane Community College of Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.
The Pirates exploded for three unanswered goals in the second half to bury the Titans 3-0 and advance to the NWAACC semifinals.
Peninsula dominated Lane in the first half but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
The Pirates weren’t worried about the 0-0 halftime score.
“We had some good chances in the first half but we hit the post twice and had balls cleared out at the last moment,” Peninsula coach Kanyon Anderson said.
At halftime, Anderson talked to his players about the best way to start making those elusive goals.
“At halftime we talked about being more aggressive and attacking a little more,” Anderson said.
It took a whole minute in the second half for that to play off.
Superstar scorer Briana Afoa, who holds the school scoring record, found the back of the net in the 46th minute.
“It was a beautiful, beautiful goal,” Anderson said.
It was an outside shot on a pass by Ashlyn Crossan.
Afoa took a turn and just shot it from 25 yards out.
That would be the only goal that the Pirates would need but Annie Armstrong and Kendra Miner helped put Peninsula out of reach with goals of their own.
Armstrong scored at 60 minutes on an assist by Sydney Bullington.
Miner added a third goal at 70 minutes for the commanding lead.
Goalkeeper Denae Brooks recorded the shutout for the Pirates.
The Pirates’ Emilia Stefanko received a yellow card in the match.
The Pirates, ranked No. 1 in NWAACC and No. 11 in the country, will take on Everett in the semifinals Saturday at the Starfire Complex in Tukwila.
The winner of that game advances to the NWAACC championship game Sunday.
Peninsula lost to three-time champion Walla Walla in the title match last year.
Ironically, Walla Walla was the only team to beat the Pirates this year, 1-0, but was knocked out of the playoffs with a 1-0 loss to Everett in the quarterfinals.
So Peninsula (21-1-0) won’t have to go against its nemesis this coming weekend.
But three-time defending champion-killer Everett (11-4-3) is lurking in the semifinals.
The Pirates played the Trojans in the preseason and beat them 3-1.
“We played them a long time ago,” Anderson said.
“A lot of things have changed since then.”
Notes: A photo of the Peninsula women’s team beating Bellevue in Thursday’s PDN editions, misidentified the Peninsula player.
Annie Armstrong was making the back kick in the photo, and not Aubrey Briscoe.
The Peninsula College men’s soccer quarterfinal score against Chemeketa was not available by press time.