BY JOHN BECERRA JR.
BREMERTON — While Mother Nature put on a show with a thunderstorm that delayed the game by half an hour, Kitsap Pumas midfielders Matt Friesen and Kyle Johnson countered with a worthy performance of their own.
The two combined for three goals and three assists as the Pumas defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
The Pumas are now undefeated in 11 league games. Kitsap (8-1-2 overall) also maintains its four-point lead in the Premier Development League Northwest Division over the Seattle Wolves and the Portland Timbers U23.
Johnson and Friesen hooked up in the eighth minute as a well-placed cross pass found Friesen just outside the goalie box. They combined again in the 31st minute as Johnson booted a corner kick that a Vancouver defender corralled and tried to clear but he slipped and fell.
Friesen quickly put the ball in the back of the net for his second score of the game and his second two-goal game of the season. He scored two in a friendly against the Tacoma Stars April 18.
“He was on fire,” coach John Wedge said of Friesen’s performance. “But it wasn’t just the two goals. What I was most pleased with was his defensive effort he made — it was outstanding.”
Johnson was rewarded for his hard work in the 43rd minute, as Tony Kerr made a fantastic cross pass on a ball that was about to go out of bounds. Johnson crashed the goal and tapped it in just before the Vancouver defense could knock it away.
“I just wasn’t sure where he was going to put it,” Johnson said. “I just made sure I was behind the play a little bit so I could adjust to the cross. He was able to get some power on it and I was lucky to beat my guy.”
The smaller Whitecaps (2-4-2), playing their second game in as many days, couldn’t muster a consistent attack.
The few times they had attempts, goalkeeper Dustyn Brim and the back line of Mark Lee, Stephen Mohn, Taylor Hyde and Will Sturgess did their part in holding Vancouver scoreless.
Brim earned his fourth shutout of the season.
The Pumas played keep away for most of the second half. Friesen sent the 564 in attendance home with free chalupas when he saved a ball from going out of bounds near the goal box with a pass to Jesse Wheelock, who beat the goalie for the score and his first goal of the season.
The Pumas host Spokane Saturday at 7 p.m., then the Seattle Wolves Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Kitsap 4, Vancouver 0
First half—1, Kit, Matt Friesen (Kyle Johnson), 8th minute. 2, Kit, Friesen (Johnson), 31st. 3, Johnson (Tony Kerr), 43rd.
Second half—Jesse Wheelock (Friesen), 89th.
Shutout—Kit, Dustyn Brim.