|The whole team comes to celebrate Matt Friesen's stunning volley|
The Kitsap Pumas were able to polish off their week with a win over the Sounders U23’s at Bremerton Memorial Stadium despite losing to Cal FC in the U.S. Open cup. In front of 585 home fans they faced off against the former Tacoma Tide, now taken over by the Sounders, and put on an exciting display for their dedicated supporters.
Two goals from returning Puma Matt Friesen and a goal from newcomer Ben Truax secured the win for the home side. The first goal for Friesen, the club’s leading goalscorer, was a well-struck volley that curled beautifully under the crossbar. The goal followed some intense play with pressure from both attacking players. The Pumas had been creating the better chances from the midfield, however, and were doing well to hold the possession and build from the back rather than give the ball away.
|The newest additions to the|
Puma strike force Chris Bettencourt
(L) and Ben Truax (R)
The Sounders used their speedy front men on the wings to push forward in the attack, but Zack Sampson and Elliot Fauske did well on the wings to keep the attackers at bay. Returning goalkeeper Zac Lubin was handed his first start of the campaign and was able to use his lightning-fast reflexes and imposing height to beat any of the opposition’s attacking players in the air.
The one attempt Lubin was unable to keep out of the back of his net was a powerful, curling shot from the Sounders number 17 Sean Morris. The Sounders U23s got their equalizer in the 27th minute with the beautiful shot, but their celebrations were short lived as Truax found the back of the net just a minute later.
At halftime the scoreline was 2-1 in favor of the defending USL/PDL Champions but the game was still very open. The midfield’s were well-matched for each other and both sides used a similar possessive style and built from the back. The Sounders had come close to equalizing again following Traux goal, but Lubin and his backline kept the ball out of the back of the net.
The second half opened much like the first. Both teams were conservative in their attacks in the opening minutes but the Sounders quickly found a way through. They were stuffed out by the backline for the home side but continued to chip away at their defense. Their long-ball style of play eventually earned them nothing but offside calls while the Pumas had more success in their penetrating through-balls and use of the speed on their wings.
The two forwards up front for the Pumas, both new to the club this season, Ben Truax and Chris Bettencourt, worked brilliantly together and created many promising chances for the home side much to the delight of the fans. On the other end of the pitch for the Pumas, returning defender Steve Mohn and Justin Robbins, new to the backline, were keeping the attacks clear of Lubin’s net. All in all, it was a lovely display from the home side.
|Friesen prepares to take the penalty kick|
To top it off, the Sounders conceded a penalty kick in front of the Pumas most dedicated fan following, the Kitsap Pumas Elite and the Hellcats. Sounders defender Michael Ueyhara tripped the Pumas number 12 Ben Truax from behind inside the box and gifted the Pumas with a chance to seal the deal and keep the three points for themselves. Matt Friesen stepped up to take the kick and was able to overcome the attempted mind games from the Sounders goalkeeper and cooly slotted the penalty kick home to top off the win for the Sounders.