Three days after their biggest win of the season, Peninsula's men's soccer squad took care of business Saturday afternoon against the Everett Trojans ... eventually.
Deadlocked in a 0-0 battle for 79 minutes, Pirate defender Sean Gaskins took a Tyler Scott free kick and headed it in for a score and 1-0 P.C. win, moving P.C. closer to an NWAACC playoffs berth.
The Pirates (8-3-3 in conference, 8-5-3 overall) out-shot Everett 8-4 and saw few Trojan attacks slip past the defense but couldn't break through on offense until the final dozen minutes, on Gaskins' third goal of the season.
Alec Rick recorded his fourth shutout of the season, the team's seventh, helping Peninsula remain unbeaten in its last nine contests.
Peninsula coach Andrew Chapman said he was impressed with how his Pirates handled not putting the game away until late.
"We knew that they were going to come out and focus on defense," Chapman said. "We didn't start fouling, didn't get upset; that was really good. They just kept their composure."
On Oct. 22, Peninsula got two goals from Omar Anderson and seven key saves from keeper Jase Hall as the Pirates upended previously undefeated Bellevue 2-1.
With both teams getting good shots on goal early, Peninsula struck first at the 18-minute mark. Jason Simonis chipped a pass toward the Bellevue goal. When Bulldog keeper Kevin Springer left his net to chase the loose ball, Anderson raced past Bellevue defender Bryce Coffin, tapped the ball away from Springer's outstretched hands and emptied his shot into the net for a 1-0 P.C. lead.
Bellevue got the equalizer about 14 minutes later when Hailu Gebrekidan slipped the ball past Hall and the teams went to the break tied at 1-1.
About 15 minutes into the second half, Anderson found the net once again in what proved to be the game-winner. Hugo Vasquez chipped a pass in front of the Bellevue goal and Anderson rose above the crowd to head it in, his team-leading sixth score of the season.
Hall and the Pirate defense made it stand, helping Peninsula knock off the NWAACC's No. 2-ranked Bulldogs.
"That allows them to see that there aren't those teams way above us," Chapman said.
Up next for Peninsula is a road contest against Olympic College (0-13-1) in Bremerton Oct. 29. The Pirates then host Shoreline Nov. 1 before finishing the regular season at Skagit Valley Nov. 5 and at home against Whatcom Nov. 8.
Peninsula needs just four points to secure the division's third playoff seed.
"They want to run the table," Chapman said, meaning his players want to win their final four games, "but I imagine we're going to get a chance to rest some people. We're a little bit banged up from that Bellevue game."
Not just stars for Peninsula College's men's soccer squad, Pirate forward Teagan Cambier and defenseman Sean Gaskins are top students, too. The two recently were named to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College's All-
Academic Team. Only sophomores who post grade-point-averages of 3.25 or better qualify for the team.