Port Townsend Memorial Stadium welcomed some 200 fans for the debut game of the Western Washington Premier League’s newest semi-pro team, the Northern Peninsula Football Club, as they took on …
Port Townsend Memorial Stadium welcomed some 200 fans for the debut game of the Western Washington Premier League’s newest semi-pro team, the Northern Peninsula Football Club, as they took on the Issaquah Soccer Club’s Gunners.
The Gunners already had three league games (1-0-2) when they faced off against Northern and that experience definitely shined through during Saturday’s sunny weather.
Despite the best attempts of NPFC goalie Hayden Price early on, NPFC’s defense was found wanting and it was the Gunners who opened scoring at the game.
Issaquah’s experience manifested in strong communication, clean passes and sure first-touches on the ball.
NPFC Forward Pablo Salazer settled a long ball over the top, and scored a goal, only to have it called back for off-sides.
Silas DeWyse scored the first-ever competition goal for Northern Peninsula by playing his right wing-back role to perfection and lofting a long-distance cross from near the right sideline. The Gunner’s goalkeeper was caught off his line and was unable to deny DeWyse’s game-tying goal.
Unfortunately for the NPFC, the tie didn’t last long.
The Gunners capitalized on a stoppage in the second minute of the first-half.
A lucky deflection off the back of an NPFC defender caused the Peninsula goalkeeper to be caught off-guard.
By the end of the first half, the Gunners led NPFC 2-1.
Without any subs and with 11 players on the pitch on a warm spring day, the Gunners came into the second half full-tilt while NPFC struggled to figure out freshly substituted formations and player communications early in the second half.
The heat and a lack of bodies on the field eventually began to catch up with the Gunners.
NPFC enjoyed improved control in the midfield and offensive distribution across the width of the pitch.
Finally, Ryan Tolberd received a far-post flick-on header across the Gunners net and sent it home to tie the game up at 2-2.
Following Tolberd’s goal, the Gunners were running out of gas and working to rally against the NPFC defense.
Roland Donanberg-Platt drove down the left wing into the Gunners’ box and sent a straight shot into the top corner of the far goal post, giving NPFC the lead for the first time that match.
The Gunners went down to 10 men when their captain sustained a hamstring injury, and NPFC closed out the game when Salazer converted a half-field controlled run into the goal past the outstretched Gunners’ keeper.
Ultimately, Northern Peninsula FC premiered in the Western Washington Premiere League with a win.
The final score was NPFC 4, ISC Gunners 2.
NPFC next host Snohomish County’s Gala FC, at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 23 at Port Townsend’s Memorial Stadium. Advance ticket sales are open online now and may be purchased by visiting https://northernpeninsulafc.com/.