SPORTS: Peninsula College beats Highline in soccer for first time

PORT ANGELES — It took a long time for the Peninsula College men’s soccer team to finally beat Highline: Nine years and about 90 minutes to be exact.

The Pirates erased years of frustration with a last-minute 2-1 defeat of the perennial NWAACC power Wednesday at Wally Sigmar Athletic Complex.

Sophomores John Troka and Steve Williams hooked up on both goals, including the dramatic game-winner in injury time, as the Pirates beat its NWAACC division rival for the first time ever.

“It’s a huge win for us,” said Williams, who scored the final goal and assisted on the first to Troka.

“We just made history. PC has never beaten Highline . . . and it feels good.”

As well it should, considering the way the Pirates won.

Peninsula and Highline appeared headed for a tie after the Thunderbirds’ Devin Thomas found Jarrett Thomas at the far post for a header that tied the score at 1-1 in the 80th minute.

The two teams went back and forth during the next 10 minutes before Steve Prevost took a throw in on Highline’s side of the field with less than a minute to go.

Prevost tossed the ball nearly 20 yards toward the penalty box, then Troka deflected it with his head toward an onrushing Williams, who drilled it past the keeper for the goal.

The referee blew the whistle seconds after the succeeding kickoff as a packed crowd went wild.

“I saw it coming off of John Troka’s head,” Williams said, “I just ran on and put it in there.”

Troka scored the first goal off a Williams deflection of a Jabril Gude cross earlier in the half to give the Pirates the lead.

Yet it was his header to Williams that ultimately won the game.

“I just tried to hit it back post and tried to find someone else, because everyone runs back there,” Troka said.

“This [win] is huge, the first time in school history. We wanted it real bad.”

It was the second injury time win for the Pirates (4-1-1 in West Division, 7-3-2 overall) in the last week and fourth in a row.

Peninsula is also unbeaten in its last six matches, going 5-0-1 during that time.

That includes a victory over previously unbeaten Walla Walla last Saturday, which vaulted the Pirates to a No. 2 ranking in the NWAACC.

“We definitely weren’t the same team that we had on Saturday when we played Walla Walla,” Pirates coach Andrew Chapman said about the teams intensity.

“The fact that we weren’t going to give up and we did it, and it’s the second time that we’ve done that . . . it’s good to see that with these guys.”

The Pirates take on Wenatchee at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Peninsula 2, Highline 1

Highline 0 1 — 1

Peninsula 0 2 — 2

Scoring Summary

First half: None

Second Half: 1, Peninsula, Troka (Williams) 63rd; 1, Highline, J. Thomas (D. Thomas) 80th; 2, Peninsula, Williams (Troka) 90th

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