Division-winning Pumas host PDX FC Wednesday, playoff match Saturday

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Kitsap Soccer Club will wrap up its NPSL regular season on Wednesday by hosting Cancer Awareness Night at Gordon Field in Bremerton.

Kitsap SC will host PDX FC in its regular-season finale with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

For Cancer Awareness Night, the Kitsap SC players will be wearing special pink jerseys with their names on the back. These uniforms are being auctioned off up to Wednesday night with starting bids of $25 per shirt.

Proceeds from the shirt auction will go toward a local cancer charity.

You can bid for the shirts by emailing the club at info@kitsapsoccerclub.com. The most recent bids for the shirts will be posted daily on the club’s Facebook page.

For ticket information, call 360-377-6008.

Kitsap SC will be making its inaugural appearance in the NPSL playoffs starting Saturday with a home game at Gordon Field against an opponent to be determined. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

2017 NPSL West Region Quarterfinals – July 15:
Each game hosted by higher seed

#1 FC Arizona vs #8 Albion SC
#2 Kitsap SC or CD Aguiluchos vs #7 Sonoma County Sol FC [note: a Kitsap win or draw on Wed then Kitsap would be #2]
#3 Kitsap SC or CD Aguiluchos vs #6 FCM Portland [note: a Kitsap loss on Wed then would be #3]
#4 Orange County FC vs #5 Riverside Coras

Rank Northwest GP W L T Pts GF GA GD Pts/GP
1 Kitsap Soccer Club 9 6 1 2 20 16 10 6 2.2222
2 FCM Portland 10 6 4 0 18 17 14 3 1.8
3 PDX FC 9 4 4 1 13 15 14 1 1.4444
4 OSA FC 10 3 4 3 12 15 15 0 1.2
5 Spokane Soccer Club Shadow 9 2 4 3 9 8 12 -4 1
6 Pierce County FC 9 1 5 3 6 12 18 -6 0.6667

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Kitsap 1-0 FCM Portland (Saturday night)

BREMERTON, WA— (Pumas release) Almost to a man afterward, the players for Kitsap Soccer Club called winning the NPSL Northwest Division “The First Goal” or “Goal No. 1.” The inference that bigger goals remained after that went left unsaid.

MATCH PHOTOS: by Jeff Halstead

Maybe now those players can move on to the next goal.

Nico D’Amato scored a deflected goal from outside the penalty box in the 69th minute, and that was enough to life Kitsap SC over FC Mulhouse Portland 1-0 and clinch the NPSL Northwest Division title on Saturday night at Gordon Field.

And it came as Kitsap SC earned its first home victory of the NPSL season.
The victory pushed Kitsap SC (6-1-2) to 20 points with a game left to play against PDX FC on Wednesday night. FCM Portland (6-4-0) ended the regular season as the division’s second seed when the playoffs begin next Saturday.

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“It’s everything, it’s our first goal,” captain Chuy Sanchez said of winning the division title. “We want to get into the playoffs and go far into it and the first way to do that is to win the division.”

Head coach Roy Lassiter echoed the comments that bigger goals remained.
“I’d like to win the whole thing,” he said. “But this is a good step. … There’s more work to be done, there’s more games to play and we’re looking forward to going as far as we can with it.”

Kitsap SC goalkeeper Paul-Andre Guerin did his part, recording his third clean sheet in his last four games.

D’Amato’s goal was a breakthrough in a tense game with few goalscoring opportunities. But it came in a second half when Kitsap kept the pressure on FCM Portland keeper Dorian Lair.

“The ball bounced out and I took a touch and hit it on target,” D’Amato said. “And it went in, so I’m happy.”

The goal came after a frenzied sequence that saw a D’Amato chip hit the goalpost and a Habib Barry header cleared off the line.

It then led to a frantic final 20 minutes, with Kitsap seeking a second goal for breathing room and FCM Portland looking for an equalizer that would keep their own division title hopes alive.

That search for an equalizer almost came to fruition in the game’s final moments.

An FCM Portland corner kick deep in injury time brought forward Lair in a last-gasp try for goal, but the kick went right into a leaping Guerin’s gloves.

The visitors were gifted a golden chance to equalize moments later, when leading goal-scorer Luis Galeano got the ball inside the penalty area with enough room to get off a shot.

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But Galeano’s shot soared well over the crossbar. Full time was called with the ball still in the air.

The frantic second half came after a first half where chances were at a premium.

Neither team managed a good chance on net in the first half. Ruiz fired a shot off the top corner of the goal post, coming after a long shot by Sanchez carried just over the bar. But Kitsap and FCM Portland both struggled for quality chances.

The victory ensures Kitsap SC no worse than the No. 3 seed in the NPSL Western Conference. It will likely host either FCM Portland or Sonoma County Sol FC next Saturday in the first week of the playoffs.

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