It wasn’t easy, and once again the Kitsap Pumas had to battle from behind, but they managed another 2:1 win over a Puget Sound rival on Sunday in Bremerton to take over first place in the PDL Northwest Division and clinch a playoff spot.
Nasyir Rodriguez put North Sound into the lead in the 4th minute. It was leading scorer Matt Friesen who rallied Kitsap. He scored two of his own in the first half (34th minute assist to Enrique Hidalgo, 45th minute assist to Daniel Fabian) to give the Pumas the win. Friesen becomes the first Kitsap player to score 10 or more goals in a season.
The second half saw multiple chances for the Pumas to enlarge their lead. However North Sound goalkeeper Claudio Lazar was again spectacular in goal, saving several chances and knocking others aside.
The win gives Kitsap 29 points and clinches them a spot in the 4-team division playoff. The Sounders U-23’s edged Washington Crossfire 1:0 in Sunday’s other big local match. The Sounders have 27 points and sit second in the table right now. They have also clinched a playoff spot because they have a better head-to-head record against the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23’s.
Washington Crossfire (4th place, 25 points) needs just one win or a Whitecaps loss to be the 3rd Washington club in the playoffs. The Portland Timbers (third place 26 points) and Crossfire end the season with back-to-back matches against each other.