West title hopes still up in air
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Peninsula's men have had some bumps and bruises on their grassy home pitch at Civic Field. This week, they'll need to find some magic in Bellevue if they want to see that turf again this fall.
The Pirates earned a draw against Olympic's Rangers on Saturday, Oct. 30, leaving P.C. a point short of NWAACC West division-leader Bellevue.
The two teams square off Nov. 3 and if the Pirates can beat Bellevue and the Bulldogs tie or lose at Highline on Nov. 6, Peninsula can take home the West Division crown.
Ether way, Peninsula is headed back to the NWAACC playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Peninsula looked to regain the division lead Saturday against the Olympic Rangers from Bremerton, taking a 2-0 first-half lead off goals from Miguel Gonzalez and Samuel Dafala.
But Graham Davidson scored off a penalty kick just before the first half ended, and Ranger Ross Leebody tied the contest up at the 67-minute mark.
"It was very unfortunate to have a two-goal lead and to then let it slip away," Pirate coach Andrew Chapman said.
It was a bittersweet day for the Pirates on Oct. 27. With Bellevue knocking off Tacoma, Peninsula earned a playoff berth into the NWAACC playoffs, but a strong Highline squad upset Peninsula on its home turf.
The 1-0 decision dropped Peninsula out of first place for the first time this season.
It was a scoreless shutout for nearly 80 minutes until Highline's Lalo Morales took a pass from Tody Tolo and knocked it past P.C. keeper Jared Wilson for the game's only score.
Peninsula outshot the Thunderbirds 9-6 but simply couldn't put one past Highline goalie Bryan Murray.
A No. 1 seed gives Peninsula a first-round bye and a Nov. 13 home contest against the winners of a North No. 2/South No. 3 seed game.
A No. 2 seed means the Pirates play in the opening round, hosting the East's No. 3-seeded team on Nov. 10. A No. 3 seed puts Peninsula on the road against the East's No. 2-seeded squad.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.