The Kitsap Pumas took control of the Ruffneck Cup race and jumped back into first place in the PDL Northwest after a convincing 3:0 throttling of the Sounders U-23’s on Friday night at Cheney Stadium. The awkward baseball to soccer configuration might have been a distraction to fans, but Kitsap didn’t let the strange setting throw them off.
Here’s the match report issued by the Sounders U-23’s:
Tacoma, WA – The Pumas and Sounders met for the second time this season, with Kitsap handing the Sounders U-23 their second loss of the season. The Pumas scored early in a feisty and physical match at Cheney Stadium and the pro side was able to extend their lead to 3-0 before the halftime whistle. The Kitsap victory shifts the top of the Northwest Division for the 2nd time in consecutive weeks.
In other PDL action, Vancouver breezed past Redmond’s Washington Crossfire, 4:0.
“Kitsap is a passionate team, they out competed us tonight,” Sounders manager, Darren Sawatzky said after the match. “I don’t think that on the other side of the ball there are players that are more technically gifted but they certainly wanted that game more than us and they were better prepared than us.”
In the 13th minute of play, a strange sequence led to the opening goal of the match. After slipping a through ball inside the Sounders penalty box, Kitsap forward, Ben Truax, tried to shoot on frame. His attempt was blocked by Mark Lee, who was sliding on his side. The shot was knocked down by Lee’s arm for a PK. However, since the play was still alive, the referee allowed advantage to play on. The follow up shot was saved by Doug Herrick. The rebound fell to a Pumas foot and was kicked into the goal. However, since the first rebound was saved, the referee had already blown the whistle to halt advantage and award a penalty kick. After all the turmoil, Matt Friesen stepped to the penalty spot and scored his shot to goalkeeper’s right.
In the 21st minute, the Sounders U-23 thought they had a PK of their own. Off a corner kick, Taylor Peay was first to the ball near the edge of the penalty box. He touched the ball past a Kitsap defender and was brought down by the defender’s contact. Appeals for a foul were waived off.
In the 32nd minute the Pumas were able to extend the lead to 2-0. Kitsap played a set piece cross diagonally to the edge of the penalty box. Instead of striking on goal, the second pass was a ball to the feet of Ben Truax at the edge of the box. He neatly turned and curled a shot the back post past the out stretched arms of goalkeeper, Doug Herrick.
“Pretty much a grand slam,” Zack Sampson told the Kitsap Sun. “It was absolutely awesome.” —Read the Kitsap Sun match report
The Sounders made three substitutions to start the 2nd half, bringing on Facundo Dipascuale, Jamael Cox, and Brandon Brockaway. The changes shifted the Sounders into a more attacking formation. The adjustment opened up the field and the match quickly became an end to end affair.
In the 56th minute the Pumas pounced for a third goal. They played each throw in on the night like a corner kick, with a long throw into the box. An accurate throw found the head of Zack Sampson to stun the Sounders for an early 2nd half goal while the home team was pushing for a goal themselves.
The Sounders very nearly pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute. After a long throw, like Kitsap had done for their 3rd goal, the ball bounced out to DeAndre Yedlin. He volleyed the ball firmly across the box. Sean Morris dove to head it toward the far post. It was blocked away at the last moment by Pumas keeper, Zac Lubin.
Both teams had opportunities to narrow or extend the margin but the match ended 3-0 to the Pumas. With the win, they leap frog the Sounders into 1st place in the Northwest Division. The Sounders lose for the second time this season, both losses coming at the hands of Kitsap. The Sounders stay at 18 points from 10 matches, while Kitsap has 19 points from nine games.
Next up for the Sounders is another pivotal match against a top team in the division. On June 22nd, they travel down I-5 to play their rivals, the Portland Timbers U-23, in Portland.