Pumas close out pre-season with 2-0 win over the University of Washington at Bremerton
Bremerton, Wash. – With wind whipping across the field and the regular-season opener a week away, the Kitsap Pumas kept right on course.
First-year player Robby Christner scored in the 20th-minute and fellow newcomer Kellen Wantulok converted a penalty kick in the 77th, helping the Pumas to a 2-0 preseason victory over the University of Washington in front of 389 fans on a blustery evening at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium.
“Right now we’re looking pretty good,” said Christner, whose fourth goal of the exhibition schedule gave Kitsap a 1-0 advantage and the lead for good. “We have a few things to tighten up, but we’re playing well.”
Christner scored after Puma midfielder John Fishbaugher sent a low cross into the box from the right side. Waiting in front of the goal, Christner took the ball off one bounce and guided it high into the back of the net.
Fishbaugher’s pass, crisp and low to the ground, was one of the few not altered by the wind, which blew the entire match and gusted to 35 mph.
“It was a good ball in, and I was just there to clean it up,” Christner said.
Wantulok’s late tally was the club’s 11tt goal of the preseason, coming after Tye Perdido was chopped down in penalty box on a run toward the far post.
Wantulok took the ensuing penalty kick, driving a low, left-footed shot inside the right post.
The two-goal advantage was more than enough for the Pumas’ defense, which has allowed just two goals – both against the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division – during this preseason.And neither against the run of play.
Kitsap has now registered five shutouts in its six pre-season matches of 2010.
Newcomer and all-league defender Daniel Scott is anchoring the back line along with returning starters Steve Mohn and Mark Lee, both of whom started Saturday.
“I’m pleased with our centerbacks,” first-year coach Peter Fewing said. “We are bending but not breaking, and during the run of play we haven’t given up much at all.”
The club faces Seattle Pacific University in a closed exhibition match April 26, a final tune-up before the regular-season.
Fewing said he’d like to see his outside defenders become part of the attack, something the club will focus on against Seattle Pacific Monday night in a closed-door scrimmage.
“We still haven’t put together a complete, 90-minute game,” Fewing said. “But I’m pleased with where are – as long as we keep winning.”
The Pumas (5-0-1 in the pre-season) open its regular season on the road next Saturday at the Yakima Reds. The home opener against the Tacoma Tide is at 7:30 p.m. May 15 at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. In between the Pumas fly to Spokane to take on the Spiders two weeks from tonight.
Season, group and individual tickets are on sale now, including flex ticket passages.