Team returns to Gordon Field June 27 for two more regular season home games

Team returns to Gordon Field June 27 for two more regular season home games

EAST BREMERTON — The Kitsap Pumas return home next week for their final two regular season games. And they will be important ones.

The two matches scheduled at Gordon Field — 7 p.m. June 27 against FCM Portland and 7 p.m. June 30 against Spokane Shadow — are the last two of the regular season, and every point earned or lost will be critical.

As of press time, the Pumas were two points out of the second and final playoff spot with 11. They had games against PacNW OSA and FCM Portland scheduled for June 20 and 23, after Central Kitsap Reporter went to print.

The Pumas were riding high after a 2-0 victory over PDX FC at home on June 6, which was their second consecutive win and it had launched them into first place.

It was also their first victory at Gordon Field this year. With a stretch of four away games coming up, the Pumas were primed to pick up some points as they had been very successful on the road this season.

But instead, a Jake Levine hat trick buried the Pumas out in eastern Washington on June 9, resulting in a 5-0 loss to Spokane Shadow. A rebound opportunity presented itself the following week as the team traveled to Lake Oswego to take on the team they had just recently dominated at home.

The Pumas created multiple chances, but never found the back of the net. Late in the game, disaster struck as Ryo Asai scored in the 85th minute, taking away at least one possible point.

“We controlled the game the majority of the time,” head coach Liviu Bird said. “We had plenty of chances, we just haven’t been able to finish them off.”

The Pumas’ best opportunity came in the 61st minute. Uriel Herrera was hauled down in the box and got an opportunity from the penalty spot, but PDX’s Kienan Weekes came up with the stop in what could have been a serious turning point.

“It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities we had,” Bird said. “They only had a few scoring chances, but they scored on one and we didn’t.”

What once looked like a three-team race for the two playoff spots in the NPSL Northwest Division has now become a logjam. Just two weeks ago, The Pumas, Spokane Shadow and FCM Portland all looked as if they were going to pull away from the rest of the division. But PDX FC and OSA FC are currently right on their heels with eight points each.

With the short Northwest Premier Soccer League season soon coming to a close, each match, and even each possession is magnified. But Bird has his team focused on taking each game one at a time.

“To us, no game is more important or less important than any other one,” Bird said. “We are concentrating on our game Wednesday, after that we look to the one on Saturday. Obviously that will continue until the end of the season.”

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

More in Sports

North Kitsap junior Makalya Stockman was named one of the game’s MVPs. Stockman picked up a hit and struck out four batters in two innings. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Nationals beat the Americans 11-7 in 18th KAR Softball Showcase

Some of the West Sound’s best softball players took the field Tuesday… Continue reading

Johny Olmsted calls the play as he directs the offense against Central Kitsap. Olmsted led North Kitsap with 26 points in the 79-51 victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Olmsted’s 26-point night leads NK past CK

Playing in their home gym for the first time in over a… Continue reading

Areeza Amian led South Kitsap with 15 points in her team’s 66-32 win over Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
South Kitsap knocks off Central Kitsap, 66-32, in season opener

South Kitsap girls basketball fans can expect to see plenty of action… Continue reading

Everett Moore gets up and over the Olympic defense for a shot attempt. Moore hit four 3-pointers in Bainbridge’s win over the Trojans. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge improves to 2-0 with 73-34 rout over Olympic

Two games, two 70+ point performances and two wins. It seems Bainbridge… Continue reading

Kaden Ecklund finished the final game against Curtis 3-4 with three doubles, four RBI and a stolen base. (Independent File Photo)
SK baseball takes 3rd in SPSL

South Kitsap’s win over Sumner last week gave them a shot at… Continue reading

Marisol Bergstrom led South Kitsap with a .600 batting average and 28 stolen bases this year. (Independent File Photo)
SK falls to Puyallup in SPSL tournament

South Kitsap and Puyallup have had a number of great battles on… Continue reading

Kingston’s Ellee Brockman paced the offense on Opening Night, scoring 23 points in a 49-40 win over North Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Brockman’s 23 points lead Kingston past N. Kitsap

Coaches, players and fans have been waiting a long time for the… Continue reading

Samantha Burgh drops down a bunt against Sequim. Burgh recorded two hits and a sacrifice in the 2-1 victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK beats Sequim, falls to Bainbridge in title game

North Kitsap started the Olympic League tournament Saturday with a hard-fought victory… Continue reading

Cole Edwards entered the game against Port Angeles in the fifth inning and kept the offense off the board. He also tied the game with an RBI-triple in the sixth. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK gets monkey off its back, beats PA

North Kitsap’s recent history against Port Angeles hasn’t been pretty, but the… Continue reading

Miranda Grogger gave up just one run and did not walk a batter in the Olympic League championship game against North Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge defies the odd, grabs softball title

The old cliché tells you to throw out the record books when… Continue reading

JR Ritchie stole the show in the championship game with a no-hitter and 18 strikeouts against Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Ritchie’s no-hitter, 18 K’s lead BI to league title

2021 could have been an incredible year for the Bainbridge baseball program.… Continue reading

Sarah Hoyt delivers an RBI in the sixth inning of a 14-12 win over Gig Harbor. (Mark Krulish |Kitsap News Group)
South Kitsap outslugs Gig Harbor, 14-12, to improve to 5-0

South Kitsap’s bats have been hot all season long. Entering Monday’s game… Continue reading