Peninsula Daily News
TUKWILA — The unbeaten Peninsula College soccer women (20-0-0) shut out Tacoma 4-0 at the Starfire Sports Complex in the Northwest Athletic Conference semifinals to advance to a second consecutive Northwestern Athletic Conference championship game.
The Pirates will face Highline at 2:30 p.m. today. The Thunderbirds beat Clark 3-2 on penalty kicks (4-3) in the other semifinal Friday. The championship game will be a rematch of last year’s championship, which the Pirates won 1-0 in overtime.
This will be a match of serious heavyweights. Highline, winner of the West Division, is an extremely tough opponent and like Peninsula, the Thunderbirds are undefeated (17-0-2). The two teams enter the championship match with combined records of 37-0-2.
Highline doesn’t score quite as many goals as Peninsula, but the Thunderbirds are extremely good defensively. The Thunderbirds have given up just five goals all season, while scoring 98. The Pirates have scored 142 goals (an all-time NWAC record) and allowed nine.
Coach Kanyon Anderson said the Pirates know that the Thunderbirds will be a very stiff challenge, but that the women knew to cap off a historic season, they would have to beat a team like Highline.
“I think we’re up to the challenge. We’re trying to have arguably the greatest season in the history of the NWAC,” Anderson said.
The game will be livestreamed here: https://tinyurl.com/NWACchampionship.
In Friday’s match, Jayna Morikawa’s goal in the 31st minute got the Pirates on the board. Shantel Torres-Benito earned an assist on the goal by battling Tacoma’s Jolene Kvinsland for the ball, deflecting it forward to Morikawa who slotted in a soft shot from right to left to beat Titans goalkeeper Jenna Poland.
Morikawa left the game limping after being mobbed by teammates celebrating the goal.
Peninsula led 1-0 at halftime, and was firmly in control of possession in the early going in the second half, before notching some insurance goals.
Maddy Parton sent in a ball from right-to-left into the goal box that Torres-Benito directed to Sydney Warren who sent in the Pirates’ second score in the 67th minute. It was Warren’s 31st goal of the year, by far the most in the NWAC.
Brianna Duran and Taylor Graham connected on a give-and-go score in the 82nd minute. Duran earned possession near midfield, played the ball back to Jordyn DiCintio who gave it back to Duran who pushed forward and slotted the ball to Graham in the middle. Graham then sent a rolling pass through the Tacoma defense to Duran who sent home a solid shot to the far left post.
Kelly Kevershan added the Pirates’ fourth tally, collecting the ball in midfield, pushing forward with Parton off to her right but instead choosing to shoot past Poland in the 86th minute.
Graham had to be helped off the field just before full time with an apparent injury to her right leg.
Her and Morikawa’s injuries were the only down notes in another composed and controlled playoff performance by Peninsula.
Coach Kanyon Anderson said that both Morikawa and Graham got checked by physical therapists Saturday and have been cleared to play Sunday.
“I think they’ll be ready to go,” he said. “We’re a little banged up.”