Inside the Brain of a Teenage Soccer Genius

Essays, Player Reviews, Scouting Reports, Events, Match Reviews, Statistics and Things of no Importance

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pumas are Playoff Bound

The Kitsap Pumas are facing off against their hated rivals (and the rivals of all teams around Puget Sound...) the Portland Timbers today for a spot in the Western Conference USL/PDL Playoffs in Ventura, California next weekend! I don't want to get too far ahead of myself by booking a flight into LAX, and I'd hate to think that this is where the road ends this season, but let's take a moment to reflect on a really, really good season.

The Pumas squad this season varied greatly from the side that won the USL/PDL National Championship last season. Veteran goalkeeper Dustyn Brim and defender Taylor Hyde have spent much of the season on the sidelines as coaches since both are still attempting to make a full return from some grueling injuries. Matt Friesen and Elliot Fauske returned to the Puma midfield this season, Zac Lubin took his place between the goalposts as the first choice pick and Steve Mohn and Zack Sampson, both members of the side in their inaugural season, held down the defensive line. Greg Miley was up front but he was joined by new additions Ben Truax, Enrique Hidalgo and Chris Bettencourt while the midfield and defense experienced some major renovations as well. Despite all of this dramatic change both on and off the pitch (James Ritchie took over as head coach for Peter Fewing) the Pumas still managed to dominate the league, finishing in third place, a higher spot than many were anticipating after a rocky start to the season. With the new players settled in, the Pumas were on their regular winning streak, consistently producing solid results for the remainder of the season with very few road bumps along the way that often occur in the constantly shifting PDL.
The opening home win against Fraser Valley ended with an impressive 6-0 scoreline in favor of the Pumas, certainly one of the highlights from the season.
The defense also did their job in the 6-0 victory!

The second league game of the season that was held at Bremerton Memorial Stadium was also a clear victory with the Pumas beating Ruffneck rivals Seattle Sounders U23 3-1.
Matt Friesen hits the mark with a stunning volley against the Sounders U23s

Pumas also had a dramatic victory in the Ruffneck Cup a month later when Justin Robbins netted a late winner for the home side in the 85th minute

So if this is where the road ends, it has been an incredible season. The fans and players have both enjoyed the ups and downs that come with the small club in the heart of Bremerton and are ready to cheer their men on for an exciting indoor season if the Pumas outdoor side loses in Portland today. However, if the boys have another dramatic victory against the Timbers today like they did last weekend, we are in for another exciting playoff bout for our Kitsap Pumas SC. Who will I see in California? ;)

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