Defeated but not Destroyed. What we learned from last nights ‘Friendly’

The officials assigned to referee the April 15 match only saw “Home Team = Peninsula Community College vs. Away Team = TBD on their schedule.  “TBD” was a fitting description for an otherwise unknown 2022 NPFC (Northern Peninsula FC) squad.

Still, as the designated 7:00 PM kick-off time arrived, the refs and fans were wondering along with the Peninsula College Pirates about their opponent who remained behind closed locker room doors.

Fortunately, the men of NPFC finally emerged, and a 7:10 whistle let everyone see what the 2022 NPFC campaign might have in store. 

Facing a Peninsula Pirates men’s soccer “Dynasty” – winners of five NWAC titles since 2010, winners of 11 league titles in the past 12 years, Nationally ranked #6 – the Pirates quickly organized their offensive attacks against NPFC.

Pirates Freshman, Isaiah Penninston-John was their big targeted Striker up top. Continually making runs on skillfully served balls from the middlefield. NPFC’s four defender backline stayed organized and in coordinated communication until the 11′ when Penninston-John beat the NPFC keeper with a hard strike on goal.

Not to be defeated, NPFC quickly rebounded in the 12′ with a centering cross to Luise Galvan, who delivered a shot over the top of the Pirates goalie to even the score.

The score remained tied 1-1 until the 22′ when Penninston-John, waiting on the penalty spot, received a Pirate’s pass back from the end-line, enabling him to finish with a simple one-touch for his second goal of the night.

NPFC was switching line-ups and subbing in fresh legs early, and often, in the second half.

NPFC’s goalkeeper kept his team in the game with exceptional defending against numerous Pirate shots on goal. A miscue on handling a corner kick in the 76′ resulted in the Pirate’s third goal.

Otherwise, NPFC increased overall second-half possession and offensive opportunities beyond their first-half performance.

NPFC team player/manger Joost Besijn reflected; “I think we played very well, especially against one of the strongest teams in the state. We executed our game plan well and the team created and conceded a near even amount of chances.” 

Still, in the 86′ minute the relentless Pirates found the back of the net for the fourth time and secured their victory.

“We executed the game plan well and will continue to improve before the season kicks off!” said Besijn.

That path for continued improvement – and better knowing who the previously “TBD” 2022 NPFC are – welcomes fellow Cascadia Premier League contender, Bainbridge Island FC, to Port Townsend’s Memorial Stadium, Saturday April 30, 2:00 PM.