PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College got a measure of revenge on a previously unbeaten Whatcom team, riding two first-half goals to hold off the Orcas 2-1 Monday at Wally Sigmar Field.
The win puts the Pirates into a tie for first place in the North Region with Whatcom with identical 4-1-0 records. The Orcas handed the Pirates their only loss of the year earlier in the season by the identical score of 2-1.
That one goal is the only score Whatcom had allowed all season until Monday.
Coach Jake Hughes said the difference in this game was “fewer red cards.” In the first match, the Pirates got hit with two red cards.
“Two red cards. It’s pretty simple. We had 11 players. We were the better team, I thought, but any game plan will be undone by two red cards,” Hughes said. “We were our own worst enemy. We defeated ourselves really.”
The Pirates didn’t dominate the score, but they did control the action, with 18 shots to Whatcom’s eight. Nine Pirates’ shots were on goal.
Both of Peninsula’s goals were gorgeous. The Pirates’ first came on a solo effort by Theodore Baiye in the seventh minute. Baiye brought the ball into the offensive zone, collected it off a rebound, then drilled a shot just inside the box to score.
Peninsula’s second goal was even better. Fullback Keigo Takai made a long crossing pass from the right corner in the 28th minute that found the head of a diving Nico Hernandez perfectly. Hernandez laid out three feet in the air completely parallel to the ground to knock the ball in.
Takai picked up an assist on the play.
“Keigo is an exceptional player,” Hughes said.
Whatcom made the game close late with a penalty kick in the 69th minute. The Pirates were able to hold off the Orcas over the final 20-plus minutes to collect the win.
Peninsula next plays at Everett (1-3) on Thursday. The Pirates’ next home game is at 4:15 p.m. Monday against Edmonds.