Pumas Tie Victoria
Langford, British Columbia – The Kitsap Pumas are still searching for their first victory in Victoria after two season.
Suffering their first Premier Development League loss at the hands of the Highlanders last season, Kitsap and Victoria battled to a scoreless draw Saturday night at Bear Mountain Stadium at City Centre Park.
Last season, the Highlanders scored a 2-1 win against the Pumas, who settled for their second draw in as many games. Kitsap tied Vancouver last Sunday 1-1.
Kitsap saw its record move to 8-1-2 (26 points) in the Northwest Division, good enough to remain in second place. The Pumas are now seven points behind unbeaten Portland (11-0-0, 33 points).
“The guys put out the effort, that’s the major thing,” Kitsap coach Peter Fewing said.
Victoria, which began the day tied with Tacoma for third place in the standings, moved to 7-3-3 (24 points). The tie hurt the playoff chances for the Highlanders, who only have three league games remaining. Kitsap has five, and only the top two teams in the division make the playoffs.
“Both teams were going for the win,” Victoria coach Ian Bridge said.
In a game that featured tireless effort and often end-to-end action, true scoring opportunities were few.
The Highlanders looked more comfortable on their home turf and generated a few decent chances in the first 20 minutes playing with a glaring sun at their backs.
But Kitsap’s best chance in the opening half came in the 25th minute. Victoria’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Brandon Watson made a diving save to his right off Matt Friesen’s free kick from 27 yards out.
In the second half, Watson snuffed out a low, left-footed blast by Pumas forward Tye Perdido.
Kitsap’s best save came in the 89th minute when defender Stephen Mohn cleared the ball off the goal line following a shot by Victoria forward Kareem Henry. A minute later in injury time, Kitsap midfielder Cameron Hepple fired high over the crossbar from 10 yards out in what was probably the best chance of the match.
The Pumas are back in action next Saturday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium with a 7:30 p.m. game against the Yakima Reds. Tickets remain and can be purchased for the final two regular-season matches (July 10 and July 18) via phone (360-377-6008), at the office and on-line at brownpapertickets.com.