The Kitsap Pumas are now a perfect 3-0-0 this season in matches against Ruffneck Cup foes from around the Puget Sound. The defending PDL National Champs have now faced the other three and come away with three wins after Sunday’s second-half surge in a 3:0 victory in Edmonds against the North Sound SeaWolves.
The match was scoreless at the break, though not without incident. North Sound defender Gene Tibbetts was issued a red card in the first half and was sent packing at the 33 minute mark after an altercation that also resulted in a yellow card for Kitsap’s Danny Medina.
The Pumas exploded for three goals early in the second half.
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Daniel MacLeod crossed to Ben Truax who finished the scoring chance after a bit of a scramble in front of the North Sound net not soon after the restart. Just after, in the 49th minute the Pumas’ Greg Miley got his chance in front and poked home a ball out of a defensive crowd to give Kitsap a 2:0 advantage. Miley again scored in the 57th on a nifty through-ball from Kyle Johnson.
“I thought we were excellent,” Kitsap head coach James Ritchie told the Kitsap Sun afterwards. “The first 20 minutes was the best football I’ve seen us play. We’re unlucky we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net in the first half … but we did a professional job.”
The Pumas have nine points in the Ruffneck Cup trophy race, three ahead of second place Washington Crossfire. In the league playoff race Kitsap moves to 5-2-0 and sits in a tie for first place with the Portland Timbers U-23’s. PTFC has a match in hand.
The SeaWolves have lost three straight matches and are now 1-3-0 on the season.
“It was very disappointing,” SeaWolves coach Alex Silva said of Tibbett’s red card. “Even if the other team is doing something to you, you can’t react. You have to control yourself and keep playing. It made it tough on us.”
The SeaWolves were already down three starters when they lost Tibbetts. Leading scorer Abdul Aman sat out the game after the same officiating crew red carded him in Friday’s loss to the Washington Crossfire. Mark Conrad was involved in a minor car accident before the match and Quinton Beasley was out for personal reasons.
“It was a tough situation already facing the best team in the league without three starters,” Silva said. “And then to lose a man, it really made things difficult. I thought we played hard but we ran out of energy.”
“We’re having a hard time dealing with crosses into the box,” Silva said. “I think every player is waiting for someone else to cover it. So when the other team gets outside and then sends it in, we’re getting beat.”
While Tibbetts will miss North Sound’s next match, the SeaWolves get Aman back. North Sound will meet the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 team at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Edmonds Stadium.
“We’re doing some good things, but we need to keep a full team on the field and we need to mark better in the back,” Silva said. “I think if we have our full team here, we’re going to be in good shape.”
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