COLLEGE SOCCER: Peninsula College teams face tough NWAACC doubleheader with Highline
Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Peninsula College’s Dominique Niedziela, left, dribbles past Southwestern Oregon’s Milli Sevy at Wally Sigmar Field last month.
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The Pirate women face the fourth-ranked Highline women at 2 p.m., while the men battle the third-ranked Highline men at 4 p.m.
The doubleheader will be the first of two meetings this month between the West Division powers.
Highline is currently second to Peninsula in the NWAACC West Division men's and women's standings, and has finished second to the Pirates the last two seasons.
Along with the NWAACC No. 1 ranking, Peninsula continues to be a presence in the national rankings.
In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Junior College National Polls released Tuesday, the Peninsula men moved up a spot to No. 8, while the women maintained their No. 14 national ranking.
The Pirate women are 6-0-0 in conference play and 7-2-0 overall, while Highline is 5-1-0 and 8-1-1, after suffering its first loss of the season 1-0 to Clackamas on Saturday. Peninsula slipped by the Cougars, ranked sixth in the conference, 2-1 last month.
The defending champion Pirates have scored 38 goals this season, the second most in the NWAACC, and allowed eight. The Thunderbirds have scored 28 and given up only six.
Peninsula is led by Bri Afoa, who has nine goals this season, including hat tricks in the last two matches. She is the third-leading goal scorer in the NWAACC. Peninsula defender Shelbi Vienna-Hallam is ninth in the NWAACC with seven goals.
Bronte Fitzsimmons is tenth in the conference with six goals, and is tied for second in overall scoring. The sophomore forward tops the NWAACC with 12 assists.
Teammates Alyssa Bertuleit and Brenda Torres are tied for ninth with four assists each.
Highline's top goal scorers are Jessi Beverlin with seven and Emily Hanna with five.
On the men's side, the Pirates are 5-0-0 in conference play and 11-0-1 overall, with an NWAACC-leading 57 goals scored and only nine allowed, which ranks second in the conference.
Highline is 3-1-0 and 7-2-1 with 26 goals and only eight allowed.
The Pirates are dominating the individual stats as well, with Alex Martinez and Ash Apollon the conference's top two scorers with 19 and 11 goals respectively.
Apollon leads all NWAACC players in assists with 14, and Martinez is third with six. Teammates Erick Urzua and Corbyn May are tied for fifth in assists with five each.
Highline's top scorers are Stefan Bangsund and Minte Beyecha with six each.
Coming off shutouts
The Peninsula women are coming off an 11-0 win at Chemeketa Saturday, in which Bri Afoa scored her second straight hat trick, and Mary Pierce and Brenda Torres added two apiece.
Bronte Fitzsimmons, Miranda Sochacki, Larkyn Nelson and Annie Armstrong also scored for the Pirates.
Fitzsimmons padded her NWAACC-leading assist mark with three, Torres and Bertuleit both had two, while Sochacki, Briana Estrellado, Brooke Yoshimura and Armstrong had one each.
The Peninsula men struggled with a defensive-minded Storm team, as well as the storm in Salem, breaking through with three goals in the final 16 minutes to win 3-0.
Alex Martinez scored two of those goals and Christian Martinez had the other.
Assists came from Caio Maciel, Apollon and Steven Rodriguez.
The Pirates follow up Wednesday's game with another big conference battle Saturday when the NWAACC's second-ranked team, Clark (5-0, 9-1-1), visits Wally Sigmar Field.
Last modified: October 01. 2013 6:39PM