The Spokane Sasquatch and Peninsula College Pirates will battle for the 2012 NWAACC Women’s Soccer Championship on Sunday at Starfire after both schools won their semifinal matches on Saturday. The Sasquatch edged the Clackamas Cougars 1:0 on a last-minute goal while the Pirates topped the Everett CC Trojans 3:1. This post will be updated with details and photos as they become available.
Peninsula 3:1 Everett
TUKWILA, Wash. – (www.NWAACC.org) Briana Afoa scored a pair of goals, one in each half, to push the Peninsula Pirates past the Everett Trojans by a final score of 3-1 for a trip to the NWAACC Championship game for the second year in a row.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jeff Halstead shoots Pirates v. Trojans
PHOTO GALLERY: Wilson Tsoi shoots PCC v. EvCC
Things were rough from the start, with physical play from both teams. Peninsula finally gained traction in the 17th minute when one of the Everett defenders committed a foul inside the 18 yard box. Afoa stepped up to the ball and delivered a rocket to the upper right corner and past the Everett goalkeeper for the first score of the semifinal match.
Throughout the first half, Everett’s sparse attacking opportunities were spaced apart by long periods of scrambling to keep up with the powerful Peninsula offense. In the 40th minute, the Pirates won a free kick 40 yards from the goal. Afoa’s strike sailed over the wall, and into the waiting mitts of Everett keeper Nicole Alvarez. Everett held tight for the remainder of the half, trailing 1-nil after 45 minutes of play.
The second half started out with a bang. One minute in, Frizzelle lined up to take a corner, and bent the ball all the way into the net to give Peninsula a 2-0 advantage in the 46th minute. Eleven minutes later after Peninsula drove down the field on a counter, Afoa took a pass from Peninsula’s Ashlyn Crossah just outside the goalbox. Afoa turned on a dime and blasted the ball into the right corner for her second score, putting Peninsula up 3-nil.
Even at that point, Everett wasn’t done. Trailing by three goals and with just under ten minutes to play, Peninsula began to sub in for their starters. That’s when Everett turned up the pressure, mounting a series of attacks and forcing Pirate goalkeeper Denae Brooks to make a number of fantastic saves.
In the 78th minute, Everett finally caught a break. The Trojan’s won a free kick, which midfielder Lisa Echert blasted over the wall and into the Brooks’ hands. Or so everyone thought. At the last second, the ball jumped back onto the turf and on to the boot of Everett’s Christina Jarvis, who sent it into the back of the net to put Everett on the board.
That was the last gas for Everett, who couldn’t keep up in the final minutes, and heard the three whistles that signaled the end of their run. Peninsula, with their 3-1 victory will move on to face Spokane on Sunday for the NWAACC title.
“You can’t explain [how this feels],” said Afoa after the win. “It’s irreplaceable.”
Spokane 1:0 Clackamas
TUKWILA, Wash. – (www.NWAACC.org) On a bitterly cold morning, things heated up down the stretch, with both Spokane and Clackamas raining shots on goal in the final minutes before Lateashea Currie of Spokane broke away and sent a ball past Clackamas goalkeeper Melenie Trumbull in the 90th minute to give Spokane the final 1-0 edge.
See Also: This match report with photos
PHOTO GALLERY: Wilson Tsoi shoots Sasquatch v. Cougars
Despite the nailbiting finish, things had been in Spokane’s favor for much of the game. Clackamas had few opportunities in the first half , with the exception of a shot from Tayler Ficek that was mishit in the 16th minute and easily snapped up by Spokane’s goalkeeper Asia Porter. Ficek would have one more shot on goal in the first half, but those two would prove to be the only shots for Clackamas in the game. Spokane struggled to get past the Clackamas defense, who swarmed to the ball and stifled scoring opportunities, but the Sasquatch still managed to put up seven shots in the first half.
With the second half came driving wind and rain, but still no offense. Spokane dominated the half for the first 35 minutes, hardly playing on their own half at all, and sending shot after shot towards the Clackamas goal. Trumbull came up huge for Clackamas, making one diving save to stop a header off a corner kick, and jumping in front of another driving shot from inside the goalbox. Then, after a brief rest, Ficek came back on for Clackamas and both sides turned up the heat going into the 83rd minute.
Spokane won a corner kick, and connected with a header, but Trumbull denied the Sasquatch by tipping the ball over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, Clackamas cleared the ball and ran downfield, eventually getting the ball to their All-Star forward and leading scorer Ficek. It seemed like one team might finally break through, but three shots in a row from Ficek were blocked by the Spokane defense, who cleared the ball out of the 18 yard box.
Then, with the clock ticking toward overtime, Spokane’s Lateashea Currie burst through a pair of Clackamas defenders and out onto the open field, with just keeper Melanie Trumbull between her and the net.
“I saw the keeper, and I thought ‘corners, corners corners’ and ‘make it'”, said Currie. “I saw all net, and a blur that was the keeper, and I put it on the right side in the corner, and it went in.”
Currie’s goal brought the anxious Spokane fans to their feet, and moments later, she was mobbed by her teammates in front of the Clackamas goal. After the game, Currie was still shaking with cold and exhilaration.
“This whole time trying to score, trying to make it for my team… I just have no words.”