Kitsap Pumas strengthen hold on first place - Bremerton Patriot
Matt Friesen and Kyle Johnson combined for three goals and two assists as the Kitsap Pumas blanked the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency 4-0 Sunday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
Jesse Wheelock rounded out the scoring on an assist from North Kitsap grad Zack Sampson. It was Sampson's first point as a professional.
Friesen, starting for the first time in three games, scored in the eighth minute when Johnson found him outside the goal box for a right-footed strike.
In the 31st minute, Johnson put a corner into play which a Vancouver defender failed to clear. Friesen quickly snagged the ball and put in another shot for his second goal of the game.
“The service from him was fantastic,” Friesen said of Johnson's passes. “I could have had three or four (goals), but I took two. So I'm happy with that.”
Johnson was rewarded for his passes in the 43rd minute when Tony Kerr saved a ball from going out of bounds, crossing it to Johnson, who crashed the goal and tapped the ball in before the Vancouver defense could recover. The sequence covered nearly the entire length of the field in five touches.
“That goal was just a beautiful end to a nice piece of play,” said coach John Wedge. “I didn't think (Tony) could get there, but he put in a fantastic cross. It was just a great piece of work.”
Will Sturgess started at defense in place of Max Lipset, who was unavailable due to a red card suspension stemming from Friday's game, a 2-1 win against Victoria. Fellow defender Taylor Hyde helped goalkeeper Dustyn Brim earn his fourth shutout of the season.
The win keeps Kitsap (8-0-2 league, 26 points) in first place in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Northwest Division. The Pumas hold a four-point cushion over both the Seattle Wolves (7-2-1, 22 points) and Portland Timbers U23 (7-2-1, 22 points).
One of five undefeated teams in the 68-team PDL, the Pumas are second in goals allowed with a paltry six. The club's plus-19 goal differential also is second in the league and it is just two points behind the Long Island Rough Riders in the race for the league's best overall record.
Kitsap hosts the Spokane Spiders (3-9-0, nine points) at 7 p.m. Saturday and faces Seattle at 7 p.m. June 30.