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August 6, 2011 at 12:50 AM

Kitsap Pumas hosting PDL championships this weekend

kitsap pumas.jpgUPDATE: The Pumas advanced to Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. championship game with a 3-1 win against the Thunder Bay Chill. They’ll face the Laredo Heat, a 4-1 winner against Long Island.

Kitsap continues to roll through a dream PDL season.

The Pumas (14-1-3) won the franchise’s first Western Conference Championship over the weekend with a pair of 1-0 playoff wins. Kitsap beat Ventura County on Saturday on a ninth-minute goal by Bryan Burke and then Fresno on Sunday with a 90th-minute goal by Daniel Scott and a PK save in stoppage time by goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.

Exciting stuff.

Now, due to submitting a winning bid, the Pumas will hold the PDL championships (a final four) this weekend at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. Kitsap hosts the Thunder Bay Chill in a semifinal Friday at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a Long Island Rough Riders-Laredo Heat match-up at 5 p.m.

The championship is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and will be televised on the FOX Soccer Channel. Tickets are available at Prices are $10 for adults (ages 16 and up) and $5 for kids (children under 4 are free). A two-day pass for adults is $15.

“It’s (darn) exciting,” said coach Peter Fewing in a news release. “Like Fresno, we have good support in the community so it’s nice to have the chance to play at home. Our game day operations are outstanding so I’m confident we’ll put on a great show for the fans and the league.”

Added executive director Ben Pecora: “This organization – from top to bottom – has overcome so much adversity this year. I’m so proud of Pete and the boys. Most of all I’m excited for our community and what this event will bring to Kitsap – this is an incredibly high level of soccer coming our way. We’re lucky to host an event of this magnitude.”

The awards are already starting to roll in for the Pumas. Scott, the younger brother of Sounders FC defender Zach Scott, was named to the 2011 PDL All-League Team. Scott, Meredith (a Sounders draft pick) and midfielder Nik Besagno all made the All-Conference team.

Also, Fewing is one of three finalists for Coach of the Year. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony Friday.

The team will, however, have a loss to overcome next year as Pecora is stepping down. Hired in 2008, Pecora called the split amicable after helping lead the team to great success on and off the field.

“This has been a great opportunity for me to build something special,” said Pecora in a news release. “It’s been my pleasure to serve this community. I thank (owner Robin Waite and his wife, Karen), the players and Pete (Fewing) plus all the volunteers and staff for showing the trust in me to build and manage this franchise. It’s time to move to a higher level and challenge – I had personally hoped we’d be at a higher division by now – the PDL season is so incredibly short making it a difficult proposition to run a fully pro operation. That said I’m looking forward to spending more time with my kids and working on some projects that have been on the back burner for quite some time. I’ve done almost nothing else for the past three years.”

* * *

— Elsewhere, the Tacoma Tide finished the regular season 1-10-5, capped by a 2-2 draw with Washington Crossfire. It was the worst season in franchise history, due in part to allowing a league-worst 49 goals. Daniel Gray and Chris Sanders tied for the team lead in goal with five.

— The Sounders Women finished their W-League season with a 2-1 loss to Vancouver in the third-place game Sunday. Atlanta won the league championship with a 6-1 win against Ottawa at Starfire Stadium.

— UW forward Brent Richards also made the All-Conference team as a member of the Portland Timbers U23s.

— Korrio, with its Playflow sports automation platform, continues to grow and has partnered with the Tullahoma Soccer Association in Tennessee.


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