The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
GIG HARBOR, Wash. — The Gig Harbor Soccer Center was packed on Sunday afternoon February 17th as the Kitsap Pumas and South Sound Shock battled for the PASL NW Division playoff crown and a trip to nationals in San Diego in March. In the end the first-seed Shock were too much for the second-seed Pumas as South Sound put up a 7:4 victory. (See OlySports.com match photos.)
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Moments after the match we spoke with South Sound’s Derek Johnson, who scored two goals on the day and was also the goalWA.net PASL NW Player of the Week twice this (regular) season. See the video below.
Jeff Graham of the Kitsap Sun filed this match report. The Pumas give the Shock credit for hard work and timely goals. “Those guys can go down there and cause trouble,” Dustyn Brim said of the Shock’s chances at Nationals in San Diego in the second week of March.
The Pumas led the match only once, at 1:0. It was 2:1 South Sound at halftime and then the proceedings livened up with eight second-half goals.
“We had amazing leadership from team captain Byron Conforti and head coach Jason Gjertsen to stay disciplined and committed to defend,” says South Sound manager John Crouch. “In the second half our movement was exactly what we had trained for. We made it count when it mattered most against a really good Kitsap squad.”
The back-breaker for the Pumas was likely the long-strided romp of Derek Johnson that made the score 6:4. Kitsap had trailed 5:2 until Matt Friesen scored back-to-backers to rally the Pumas in the third quarter. Johnson’s second goal of the match provided a cushion for the Shock. It was all but over when South Sound chipped the Kitsap sixth-attacker to make it 7:4 with just a few minutes to go.
Nate Ford scored three goals to lead the Shock.
The Shock applauded their support and posed for a team photo with the glow of victory on their faces.
The Kitsap Pumas have been to two straight division finals. Last year they fell to the WSA Rapids at the same playoff stage.
South Sound Shock 7 Kitsap Pumas 4
Goals for SSFC: Byron Conforti (1), Nate Ford (3), Derek Johnson (2), Joe Snow (1)
Assists for SSFC: Byron Conforti (1), Joey Gjertsen (2), Lukas Rydberg (1)
Saves for Shock Keeper Aaron Anderson- 22
Goals for Kitsap Pumas: Matt Friesen (2), Pat Perkins (1), Victor Kelmel (1)
Assists for Kitsap Pumas: Matt Friesen (1)
Saves for Pumas Keeper Dusty Brim- 21
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