Kitsap Pumas Back on Winning Track, Down Mariners at Abbotsford
Abbotsford, B.C. – A week after tasting defeat for the first time, the Kitsap Pumas feasted on a familiar opponent to get their season back on track.
The starting forward tandem of Robby Christner and Tye Perdido tallied goals to lead the Pumas past the Abbotsford Mariners for the second time in three weeks, earning a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Bateman Park in Abbotsford, B.C.
With the win, Kitsap (6-1-0) avenged last week’s 3-0 loss against the Portland Timbers U23, in a sense, and gained momentum leading into the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which begins Tuesday.
“We are getting back into a rhythm,” said midfielder John Fishbaugher, who assisted both Kitsap goals. “Now we have a great opportunity. It will be like a whole new season Tuesday because nothing we’ve done up to this point will matter.”
What may have mattered most Sunday was Fishbaugher’s passing. Both his assists came off free kicks in the first half, resulting in goals for Christner in the 24th-minute and Perdido in the 31st.
Christner broke the scoreless tie when he converted Fishbaugher’s cross off a free kick from about 30 yards out on the right wing sending a header over traffic into the upper-right corner of the goal. It was his third goal of the season.
Perdido put the Pumas up 2-0 less than 15 minutes later, finding the back of the net on a header off another Fishbaugher cross off a free kick, this time from the left wing.
“Give all the credit to the forwards,” said Fishbaugher, who looked sharp in his first start in three weeks. “I just put the ball in the box and they made great finishes.”
Abbotsford cut the lead in half on a bang-bang play in the 43rd-minute.
Spencer Schmidt beat Kitsap goalkeeper Garrett Staples, sending a shot across the box into the left corner of the net with a low strike.
That ended the scoring for both teams, who played two weeks ago in Bremerton in a game the Pumas won 4-1.
“Garrett didn’t have much of a chance on that,” Fewing said. “It was a nice strike.”
Now, Kitsap has one day to prepare for Tuesday’s Open Cup match against the Bay Area Ambassadors FC, a San Francisco-based amateur club.
Staples, a first-year player, received his first start of the season against the Mariners and Fewing didn’t rule out the possibility of him starting against the Ambassadors, too.
The Pumas qualified for the Open Cup last year in the club’s first year of existence, but were eliminated in a 3-0 loss to the Porland Timbers of the USL First Division.
Tickets to Tuesday’s Open Cup game are still available, as are tickets for all remaining regular-season matches.
To purchase tickets please visit www.brownpapertickets.com or contact club headquarters at (360) 377-6008.