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Walla Walla & Peninsula collect soccer titles

Tukwila, WA -- The Walla Walla women and Peninsula men earned 2010 bragging rights in the NWAACC soccer ranks as they defeated worthy opponents to win conference championships at Tukwila's Starfire Sports Complex Sunday.

Walla Walla 2  Clackamas 0 [bracket]

Walla Walla Warriors

It was the Walla Walla Warriors (13-0-2, 20-0-2) taking on the Clackamas Cougars (14-0-0, 16-3-1) in the 3pm match of the NWAACC co-top ranked women's squads.  Walla Walla got to the title match with a 5-1 thumping of fourth-ranked Bellevue in Saturday's semifinals.

Clackamas survived a scare Saturday when they found themselves down 2-0 at the half, but tallied two goals, one in the 89th minute to force overtime.  After two 10 minute 'golden goal' overtime periods, the Cougars eventually won 3-0 in the penalty kick shootout to advance.

The Warriors struck quick in the 2nd minute of play when Walla Walla midfielder Justine Jones scored on a beautiful free kick shot from about 25 yards out that Cougar keeper Melissa Ferguson got a hand on but couldn't punch out. 

It was unfortunate for CCC that Ferguson attempted the save since the shot was an indirect free kick and wouldn't have counted if she had not made contact with the ball.

Clackamas quickly regained its composure and hounded the the Warrior defense looking for an equalizer for the remainder of the half, but unfortunately couldn't manage to get many shots on goal against Warrior keeper Jordan Simkins.

The second half of play was a much different story as the Warriors had several near miss scoring opportunities while the Cougar defense continued to get penetrated by the very crafty Walla Walla forwards.

The Warriors sealed the deal when NWAACC leading goal scorer Margo Hickman slipped a ball past Ferguson off an assist by Brittany Lacey in the 66th minute.

Off her hat trick performance in the Bellevue contest and her goal in the title match, Warrior midfielder Justine Jones was named the tournament's MVP.

The championship marks Walla Walla's second consecutive title. The Warriors have been in six straight championship matches dating back to 2005 under head coach Chad Bodnar.

Peninsula 0  Highline 0  5-4 PK Peninsula [bracket]

West Region rivals Peninsula Pirates (8-3-2, 13-3-4) and Highline Thunderbirds (6-3-4, 13-4-4) had an epic defensive battle before a rowdy crowd Sunday at Starfire.

Seventh-ranked Highline got into the title match with a sound 3-1 win over eighth-ranked Shoreline Saturday while third-ranked Peninsula shutout top-ranked Columbia Basin 1-0 in the othaer semifinal match.

West second seed Peninsula struggled to score on the West's third seeded Thunderbirds in the regular season.  Highline had taken both matches, both at home and on the road, with 1-0 results.

The two squads battled to a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes of play with both keepers (Jared Wilson, Peninsula & Bryan Murray, Highline) making six saves to preserve the tie.

The squads then entered the NCAA's 'golden goal' 10 minute overtime periods, but to no avail; the two defenses remained impenetrable after 110 minutes of play.

Each club matched each other goal for goal on the first four attempts until Pirate keeper Jared Wilson managed a save on the fifth Highline attempt.  Peninsula's Yan Gioseffi had the entire team riding on his shoulders in his possible game winning attempt and didn't disappoint as he buried the shot to give Peninsula its first ever Men's soccer title.

For his stellar defensive performance in goal, Peninsula's Wilson was selected the tournament MVP.

Peninsula Pirates

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