PORT ANGELES — Breaking their habit of slow starts this season, the Peninsula soccer men quickly jumped on Skagit Valley with three early goals, then held on for a 7-1 win over a physical team.
The previous game between the two squads got testy with four yellow cards against the Cardinals. This game featured some grabbing and elbows, but nothing more — though there were a total of three yellow cards, two against Peninsula.
Joey Hollimon, who had an outstanding game Wednesday that included a spectacular give-and-go to teammate Cesar Gervacio that led to a goal, said the men had to ignore Skagit’s physical style.
“We just had to play our own game. At the end of the day, it was about sticking to our game and not worrying about that other stuff,” Hollimon said.
“We were hungry, we wanted to send a message,” said coach Cale Rodriguez.
Peninsula (8-0, 10-1) won its ninth in a row. The Pirates have struggled a bit with slow starts this season in the first half, but it was nice to get out of that pattern, Rodriguez said.
“Three-zero is obviously a good position to be in at the half,” he said.
Hollimon opened the scoring in the sixth minute by drawing a foul in the penalty area, then booting in the penalty kick.
Then in the 18th minute, on a free kick by Salvador Vargas, Miguel Valderrama made a pretty spinning kick for a goal. Just a minute later Jose Soto scored to make it 3-0 less than halfway through through the first half.
Skagit bounced back quickly in the second half, threatening to make a game of it with a goal in the 49th minute by Fredy Ruiz.
But Hollimon constantly put pressure on the Cardinals’ defense in the second half with several big runs and shots. Finally, on a pass from Gervacio, Hollimon spun it back behind him to Gervacio, who booted the ball into the net in the 51st minute for a 4-1 lead.
Just two minutes later, Marlon Nava essentially put the match out of reach with a goal (assisted by Adrian Benitez) in the 53rd minute to make it 5-1.
Goals by Benitez in the 86th minute and Alex Ramos in added time finished off the scoring. Peninsula ended up outshooting Skagit Valley 20-2.
Women Peninsula 14, Skagit Valley 0
Try as they did to lay off the gas, the Pirates soccer women overwhelmed a thoroughly outmanned Skagit Valley squad, peppering them with goals in a 14-0 win.
Highlights of the Wednesday game were a goal scored seven seconds after the beginning of the second half and a hat trick by Sydney Warren in two minutes and 30 seconds. Coach Kanyon Anderson said it’s almost impossible to get a hat trick in less than three minutes and that had to be a record for the fastest hat trick.
Anderson preached to the women at the half when Peninsula (8-0, 9-1-1) was up 10-0 that “statistics are not what this is about. Be classy. Be great.”
Skagit Valley was not a strong squad and Anderson pulled several of his starters a few minutes into the game and played almost entirely his back-up players for most of the second half. Anderson said a blowout score doesn’t help the team’s rankings and there was no reason to run up the score. At the same time, he said the women still had to play soccer.
“The game is the goal. You take that play away, you’re playing something other than soccer, you’re playing keep away and that’s somehow more disrespectful to the game,” he said.
Anderson said he stressed to the women to “make sure we don’t get too wrapped up in who’s getting the next goal. I liked that we didn’t worry about our statistics.”
The scoring opened up just over a minute into the match with a goal from Jazmin Ramos, who added another goal at the sixth minute. Both of Ramos’ goals were unassisted. She ended the match with two goals and an assist.
Hoku Afong scored in the 11th minute with an assist from Cierra Hamilton, while Marriah Perez scored at the 18th and 20th minutes, with assists from Afong and Ramos. With the score 5-0, then came Warren’s flurry of goals at the 26th (with an assist to Hamilton), 27th (assist by Maddy Parton) and 29th minutes.
Perez finished with two goals while Warren added an assist to go with her hat trick.
Coby Yoshimura scored in the 34th minute, then Parton ended the half’s scoring at the 44th minute to make it 10-0.
Parton finished the game with a goal and two assists.
In the second half, Afong scored incredibly seven seconds into the game, with a long assist from Audrey Barham.
Finishing the scoring were backups Kelly Kevershan in the 55th minute, Tatiana Hagan at the 62nd minute (assist from Hamilton) and Jayna Morikawa in the 85th minute (assist from Warren).
The Pirates played without midfielder Kennady Whitehead, who was taken to the hospital and is still recovering from a head injury after butting heads with an Everett opponent last week.
Anderson said there’s no firm timetable for her return and that she will be meeting with doctors. “There’s no need to push her back,” he said.
It was the eighth straight match without giving up a goal for the Pirates, who used three different goalies. The Cardinals only had one official shot versus 24 for the Pirates.
The Pirates remain in first place and in place for a first-round playoff bye. Their next game is Saturday at home versus Whatcom.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]