For a brand new program, the Peninsula College women's teams have exceeded many expectations.
Now the Pirates are finding out the flip side of respect.
Ranked No. 8 in a recent NWAACC coaches' poll, Peninsula looked to have control of a pair of NWAACC games only to give up second half goals in both contests to earn draws against Tacoma and Chemeketa.
Against Tacoma's Titans on Sept. 29, Peninsula took a 1-0 lead into halftime off a Shawna Thein score.
But Tacoma's Sam Willey and Tristian Dear poked shots through the P.C. defense within a minute of each other, and the Pirates needed a score from Jackie Rodgers with 10 minutes remaining to come away with a draw.
"(The draw) is a sign of a team that hasn't quite figured out how to win those games," Peninsula coach Kanyon Anderson said.
Peninsula outshot Tacoma 14-6.
"We're surprisingly tough for a team of freshmen," Anderson said. "To be in a position to expect to beat Tacoma is a good position.
"It's a fantastic start," Anderson said of the ranking, "but we want more."
Peninsula looked to have their fourth conference win three days later as they hosted the Chemeketa Storm, taking a 2-0 lead off a Kimberly Jones score just five minutes in and adding a Jessica Farrell goal midway through the second half.
But Chemeketa got scores from Elena Acosta and Elisabeth Sandovall in the final 15 minutes to earn a tie.
Farrell, Peninsula's leading scorer with four goals in 2010, said the team is collaborating well early on but needs to stay focused to win close games like ones this past week.
"Winning's a lot better," she said. "Hopefully we'll do better next game."
The Pirates are back in action Oct. 6 at Highline. The Pirates are at Olympic (Bremerton) on Oct. 13 and host division-leading Bellevue on Oct. 16.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.