The Kitsap Pumas rallied from behind on Friday night at Bremerton Memorial Stadium to pull out a 2:1 victory over Washington Crossfire to earn the club the Ruffneck Cup as well as a return to the top of the division table.
by David Falk + Photos
It was a dramatic and often times chippy and poorly officiated affair in which both clubs knew what was at stake: bragging rights around Puget Sound and a chance to be first in the Northwest Division table.
Washington Crossfire struck early to keep the Pumas reeling. It was 1:0 Crossfire in the second minute on a strike from Zach Hammond. Kitsap was at that point being outscored 4:0 on their current homestand.
Two players were ejected just before halftime as lead official Marc Zawsilak lost control of the match. Sent packing were Kitsap’s Jarrett Robbins and Washington’s Thomas Chameraud. This opened up space for the Pumas in the second half and they responded with their best soccer in several weeks.
Finally, after 282 scoreless minutes on their current stand at Memorial, Matt Friesen knotted the match at one in the 72nd minute.
It was back and forth after that as the rough match transformed into a thing of counter-attacking beauty. With both sides pushing for the win Justin Robbins jumped highest and headed home the winner in the 85th minute.
In the end the match garnered 8 yellow cards and three ejections (Nick James was sent packing for a second yellow for Washington in the 89th.)
Players and fans mingled afterwards on the pitch as the Ruffneck Cup trophy was handed to the Pumas and they celebrated by raising their Champions scarves.
The Pumas are now 5-0-0 (undefeated) against the rest of Puget Sound, having outscored their neighbor rivals 13-3 in the process.
In other PDL action the Sounders U-23’s bashed North Sound 5:0 and the Timbers U-23’s beat Fraser Valley 2:0. The division logjam continues as Kitsap now have 26 points, Crossfire and Portland have 25 and the Sounders U-23’s have 24.
WAS: Hammond (Sackeyfio) 2
KIT: Friesen 72
KIT: Robbins (Johnson) 85