(Photos: Jeff Halstead/Halstead Photography)
SILVERDALE, Wash. — For nearly 90 minutes, neither the Kitsap Pumas nor the Seattle Sounders U23 could catch a break in front of goal in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round matchup on Wednesday. But finally, after repeated efforts and a refusal to accept a negative fate, the Pumas broke through on the stroke of full time.
After a corner-kick scramble that included a clearance off the Sounders’ goal line, forward Javier Castro put his foot through a ball and sent it into the back of the net. That set off a euphoric celebration on the Pumas’ sideline, as they felt the relief of their first official win of the season.
“I felt with the momentum and the way we played, we deserved to win the game, but you’re always leaving it a little bit to chance as long as it stays 0-0,” Pumas head coach Cameron MacDonald said.
The Pumas began the match on the front foot, getting a shot on target in the 10th minute from Joel Waterman, making his first professional start in midfield. The Sounders answered back with a David Olsen shot just over the goal two minutes later, which set the tone for much of the game.
After one team would attack, the other would counter with an effort of its own. The best chance of the first half came from Ibrahim Diaby, as he curled a shot toward the top right-hand corner of the net, but Seattle goalkeeper Paul Christensen was equal to it.
Kitsap poured on the pressure after the halftime break, resulting in a flurry of chances as the match wound down. With about a quarter-hour remaining, the Pumas had their first series of efforts in front of goal, failing to score despite hitting the crossbar and seeing the Sounders clear their lines repeatedly.
Then, Olsen again nearly struck for the Sounders, forcing a close-range save from Matt Grosey that ricocheted off the bar. Finally, at the end of another series of chances, Castro put his effort away with moments to spare in the game.
This was the first of four meetings between the Pumas and Sounders U23 this season, which could include a fifth encounter in the PDL Western Conference playoffs. The two teams meet in league play for the first time 10 days after this Open Cup encounter, again in Bremerton.
“It doesn’t matter if you score in the first or the 90th minute, as long as you score, especially in a cup game,” MacDonald said. “We’ll take this win and move forward into league play again on Friday with a little more momentum.”
The Pumas host Washington Crossfire on Friday at Gordon Field, kicking off at 7 p.m. It will be the last of a stretch of four games in eight days for Kitsap.
Kitsap will now travel to play the USL’s Sacramento Republic on June 1 in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at Bonney Field.
— Match Report —
Match: Kitsap Pumas vs. Seattle Sounders U23
Date: May 18, 2016
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round
Venue: Silverdale Stadium — Silverdale, Wash.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Weather: 50 degrees, mostly cloudy and windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Kitsap 0 1 1
Seattle 0 0 0
KIT – Javier Castro, 90’
Kitsap: 18.Matt Grosey — 19.Matt Eronemo, 3.Cory Keitz, 2.Buba Jammeh (13.Kalem Scott, 50) — 23.Ian Lange, 5.Trevor Jensen, 20. Joel Waterman — 10.Jesús Sánchez — 8.Ibrahim Diaby (9.Hamza Haddadi, 58), 30.Mike Ramos (11.Marcus Lees, 82), 28.Javier Castro
Subs Not Used: 1.Arturo Oberto, 14.Connor MacMillan, 17.Alcides Thomas, 22.Daniel Davidson
Head coach: Cameron MacDonald
Seattle: 31.Paul Christensen — 19.Chase Hanson, 4.Ambassa Collyns, 15.Kyle Bjornethun, 2.Sam Langston — 24.Troy Peterson, 25.LeeRoy Magurashe — 20.Adam Jones (9.James Haupt, 65), 3.José Aguinaga, 27.Keith Francisco (7.Ashkanov Apollon, 77) — 10.David Olsen
Subs Not Used: 32.Jeff Caldwell, 6.Chris Wingate, 8.Michael Bajza, 12.Jakob Granlund, 17.Jalen Crisler
Head coach: Darren Sawatzky
Stats Summary: KIT / SEA
Shots: 11 / 4
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 13
Offside: 1 / 1
SEA — LeeRoy Magurashe (caution), 72’
SEA — José Aguinaga (caution), 74’
KIT — Javier Castro (caution), 90+1’
SEA — David Olsen (caution), 90+3’
— #AllezPumas —