BREMERTON, WA —– Better late than never, but it is as late as it can get for the Kitsap Pumas. They cling to life (but will need plenty of help) in the PDL playoff race. Meanwhile, they are in the lead in the Puget Sound Derby after a 3:1 Ruffneck Cup win over the North Sound SeaWolves on Sunday afternoon at Gordon Field.
The Pumas have played five of their six Ruffneck Cup matches and have yet to lose, going 3-0-2 and earning 11 points. The SeaWolves gave it a late-season go but are eliminated from the Cup. The only club standing in the way of a Pumas Derby repeat is the Sounders U23. The two clubs meet on July 13 at Gordon Field in the final 2013 Ruffneck Cup match. Whomever wins that one takes the trophy. For the Pumas, a draw would also secure the cup. The U23’s and Pumas played to a wild 3:3 draw in May in Tacoma.
Kitsap and North Sound unleashed a back and forth offensive-minded soccer match on Sunday. There were plenty of shots, offsides and a general desire to entertain.
The Pumas took the lead in the 26th minute when Bremerton boy Kyle Johnson was on the end of an Alex Chavez assist. North Sound fought back five minutes later when Brady Ballew evened it up in the 31st minute. The quick succession of goals didn’t stop there. In the 33rd the Pumas got the lead back on the eventual match-winner from Cody Shelton, assisted by Andrew Stirling.
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Kitsap clinched the points in the late-going on an 81st-minute goal from Alex Chavez.
The Pumas are fighting to get to 18 points with the slim hope that the Vancouver Whitecaps U23’s will crumble the rest of the way and remain at their current 17. The top three NW Division clubs make the playoffs with 2 and 3 playing each other for the right to move on to the Western Conference Finals.