BREMERTON, WA — (Pumas release) Jesús Sánchez gave the Kitsap Pumas a 40th-minute lead against Washington Crossfire on Friday, but the Pumas conceded an equalizer in the 65th minute to Scott Menzies to take only one point from two meetings with Crossfire this week. Crossfire defeated the Pumas, 2-1, on Monday in Redmond.
The match opened with a slow-paced first half, as Crossfire dropped players behind the ball and patiently waited for its opportunities to go forward. The Pumas struggled to break down the low block, needing until the 28th minute to get its first shot on target through Joel Waterman.
From then, the Pumas managed to create chances with more frequency. Mike Ramos hit a shot just over the bar after center back Cory Keitz played him in behind just a minute after Waterman’s shot.
The opening goal came as Crossfire center back Nathan Aune got caught in possession up the field. Forward Hamza Haddadi picked the ball off him, drove down the right flank and crossed to Sánchez on the back post for a close-range finish.
Kitsap went into the halftime break with momentum and confidence, and it started the second half much the same way despite the players’ tired legs from playing four games in eight days across two competitions. The Pumas had to make four substitutions in the first 18 minutes of the half due to fatigue, and the energy level subsided quickly.
It was a cheap giveaway of Kitsap’s own that led to the equalizer, as Menzies drove across the middle of the Pumas’ defensive third before unleashing a shot across his body toward the back post. Goalkeeper Matt Grosey nearly got a touch on the ball, but it nestled inside the side netting to decide the result.
The Pumas poured pressure on the Crossfire goal as the match drew to a close, but they could not find another goal. The best chance came in the 86th minute, as substitute Marcus Lees cut inside from the left flank and hit a shot over the crossbar.
In a last-ditch effort, Kitsap moved to a three-back system in the waning moments but couldn’t create any more opportunities. The club still sits at the foot of the PDL Northwest Division with 10 matches remaining and the Seattle Sounders U23 yet to kick off their league season.
The Pumas (0-1-2, -1 point) now have an eight-day layoff before their next match, when they welcome those Sounders to Bremerton on Saturday, May 28. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Gordon Field.
— Match Report —
Match: Kitsap Pumas vs. Washington Crossfire
Date: May 20, 2016
Competition: Premier Development League
Venue: Gordon Field — Bremerton, Wash.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Weather: 60 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Kitsap 1 0 1
Crossfire 0 1 1
KIT – Jesús Sánchez (Hamza Haddadi), 40’
WAS – Scott Menzies, 65’
Kitsap: 18.Matt Grosey — 13.Kalem Scott (17.Alcides Thomas, 89), 3.Cory Keitz, 4.Rene DeZorzi, 19.Matt Eronemo — 5.Trevor Jensen (22.Daniel Davidson, 75), 20.Joel Waterman (23.Ian Lange, 59) — 28.Javier Castro, 10.Jesús Sánchez, 25.Mike Ramos (11.Marcus Lees, 60) — 9.Hamza Haddadi (15.Darius Madison, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1.Arturo Oberto, 14.Connor MacMillan
Head coach: Cameron MacDonald
Crossfire: 24.Auden Schilder — 18.Graham Davidson, 6.Nathan Aune, 3.Quentin Pearson, 9.Jeffrey Collings — 2.Wesley Stark, 11.Alex Roldan, 15.Cameron Rohani (19.Jonathan Ellis, 80), 10.Jeff Rose (16.Luke Postma, 80) — 14.Joey Parish (8.Julian White, 69), 22.Scott Menzies (12.Ibrahima Drame, 80)
Subs Not Used: None
Head coach: Bernie James
Stats Summary: KIT / WAS
Shots: 19 / 4
Saves: 1 / 12
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 18
Offside: 3 / 2
KIT — Kalem Scott (caution), 31’
KIT — Joel Waterman (caution), 44’
WAS — Cameron Rohani (caution), 45+1’
Referee: Benjamin Oakley
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Skolnik
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Gilbert
4th Official: Vernon Winters
The Kitsap Pumas enter their eighth season in the Premier Development League in 2016 after winning the Northwest Division for the fourth time in 2015. The Pumas won the PDL national championship in 2011 and advanced to the national final again in 2014, establishing themselves as a reputable professional club with a proven record of moving players onto the next level in the process. Kitsap plays its home matches at Gordon Field, an intimate 1,500-capacity stadium on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton, Wash.
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