By Rob Shore
BREMERTON, Wash. — With Kitsap Soccer Club having wrapped up its NPSL Northwest Conference Division title on Saturday, the regular season finale Wednesday night should be little more than a tuneup for the postseason, right?
Not so fast.
For starters, Kitsap SC still has much to play for. Kitsap can still claim the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed in the NPSL playoffs with a victory or a draw against PDX FC.
“Wednesday night is all about just getting a little more momentum going into the playoffs,” Kitsap SC center back Tyler LaCourse said. “If we can secure another win and just get a little more rhythm for the team, it would be huge going into that first round.”
Left back Mike Scharf said wasn’t expecting a letdown after clinching the division.
“I think our previous win, winning the division, was the peak excitement for us,” left back Mike Scharf said. “But going into Wednesday, I think our intensity is still high.”
And that just adds extra motivation to a team that wanted to sustain momentum heading into the postseason anyway.
The top three seeds in the Western Conference are allocated to division winners, so Kitsap SC is assured of no worse than a No. 3 seed. From there, the seeds go by points-per-game (NPSL divisions play different amounts of games).
Kitsap SC currently has 20 points and 2.222 points per game. Golden Gate Conference division winner CD Aguiluchos USA of Oakland, California has already finished its regular season with 25 points in 12 games, 2.083 points per game.
But a loss would take Kitsap SC back to an even 2.0 points per game.
So Kitsap SC needs at least a draw to stay ahead of the Bay Area club. Arizona FC (40 points in 16 games, 2.5 ppg) has already sealed the top seed in the Western Conference.
The No. 2-seed will host Sonoma County Sol FC, while the No. 3-seed will host a familiar team to Kitsap supporters — FC Mulhouse Portland.
If Kitsap SC earns the No. 2 seed, it will be assured of home matches for the first two rounds of the postseason.
But Wednesday’s opponent, PDX FC, shows no signs of going on cruise control to end its season. The Portland side earned a 3-2 victory at OSA FC on Saturday behind three first-half goals from Johnny Rodas.
Kitsap SC handed PDX FC its first regular-season loss, a 2-1 setback on June 8, behind second-half goals from Nico D’Amato and Tony Mota.
Wednesday night’s game will also be Kitsap SC’s Cancer Awareness Night with the players’ shirts being auctioned off with proceeds going to a local cancer charity. For more information, call 360-377-6008.