PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College men’s soccer team salvaged a tie with upstart Bellevue at home Wednesday but left the biggest prize up for grabs in the 1-1 stalemate, a shot at sealing the NWAC North Region title.
The Pirates (11-2-3, 14-2-3 and 36 points) sit two points ahead of second-place Whatcom (10-2-4, 11-3-4 (34 points).
A Peninsula win Saturday against third-place Skagit Valley (9-3-4, 10-4-4) would clinch the North title for the men. Any combination of a Whatcom loss or tie in Saturday’s contests also would earn the division crown and a first-round playoff bye.
The Pirates also could finish second if they were to lose and Whatcom were to earn three points with a win.
Bellevue went ahead in the 23rd minute of Wednesday’s match, scoring on one of just three shots allowed by the Pirates all game.
Peninsula knotted the score at 1-1 just before halftime when sophomore Kai Biegler scored, assisted by Inchun Hun in the 43rd minute.
The Pirates had four corner kick opportunities in the second half and three shots on goal, but couldn’t find the winner.
Peninsula will salute its sophomores Saturday against Skagit Valley with kickoff set for 2 p.m.
Peninsula 6, Bellevue 0
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Millie Long bagged two goals in rapid-fire succession to stake Peninsula to an early 2-0 lead on the way to a North Region win over the Bulldogs.
Long scored in the 11th and 12th minutes, the first score unassisted, the second coming on an assist from Sydney Soskis.
Long is second in the NWAC in goals scored with 18 in 10 games. She’s three back of Tacoma’s Kya Scott. Scott, however, has played in eight more contests.
“In 2017, Sydney Warren scored 31 goals for us in 22 games, so if we were to extrapolate, Millie is on pace to score 36 goals in 20 games. We have fewer games because Edmonds dropped out, Whatcom forfeited a game with us. So this could be the best statistical season in terms of goals per minute in league history,” coach Kanyon Anderson said.
Chiaki Takase added a goal assisted by Briana-Jean Tanaka in the 25th for the Pirates.
“Chiaki Takase, our central midfielder, is absolutely brilliant every game and maybe the most technically gifted midfielder I’ve ever coached,” Anderson said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better midfielder in the league.”
Peninsula went up 5-0 at halftime thanks to scores by Kenzie Banner (31st) and Katie McDermott (assisted by Allysun Gerke) in the 40th minute.
Sydney Soskis added the final goal in the 66th minute off Tanaka’s second assist.
Peninsula goalkeepers Talia Marini, Hedvig Persson and Frida Markstrom combined to earn the shutout in net.
The Pirates (10-0-0, 12-0-1) host Skagit Valley at noon Saturday.