By Rob Shore
BREMERTON, Wash. — Jacob Arreita netted a brace, with his second goal in the 31st minute sealing a point for the Kitsap Pumas in a 2-2 draw against OSA FC on Saturday night at Gordon Field.
The goal came as Edgar Torres’ corner kick improbably settled at Arrieta’s feet right in front of goal, and the midfielder gratefully punched it in.
“It fell right in front of me, and I put it away,” Arrieta said. “It was a gift.”
The draw was the Pumas’ second straight draw at home — Kitsap also posted a 2-2 draw last week in its hope opener against Spokane SC Shadow — as well as the second consecutive week the squad rescued a point after trailing early.
The draw also kept the NPSL Northwest Conference Division tight with the Pumas, OSA FC and FC Mulhouse Portland tied with five points atop the division table. FC Mulhouse Portland drew 0-0 with PDX FC on Saturday night.
Kitsap (1-0-2, 5 points) had a good chance to take the three points in injury time as Matt Eronemo got a clean header on a Mike Scharf corner. But Eronemo’s header sailed just over the crossbar.
“I just thought it was a little too high off of my head,” Eronemo said. “I got to it well, but it hit off the top and I could kind of tell right away that I didn’t get it hard enough and it was going to float.”
OSA FC (1-1-2, 5 points) also had a chance to go ahead in the 75th minute, as a long ball to forward Gabriel Zennaro split the Pumas’ defense. But Zennaro banged a shot off the scoreboard.
The draw left Kitsap head coach Liviu Bird lamenting missed opportunities — even with two goals. The Pumas outshot OSA FC 10-7 and created some excellent chances, but not the decider.
“When you score six goals in three games, you think, ‘Wow, that’s not bad.’” Bird said. “But I don’t think we’ll be satisfied with that again. We had multiple chances tonight we couldn’t put away.”
Arrieta got on the scoresheet in the fourth minute, taking a nifty cross from Kevin Francis and rifling it past OSA FC keeper Rodney Greiling.
The Pumas didn’t much time to savor the advantage. OSA FC forward Ryley Johnson equalized from the right side of the box from a deep-lying through ball, a shot that left Pumas keeper Cody Lang with no chance.
Gabe Kellum then added another in the 11th minute, beating the Kitsap defense with a Route One long ball, then hesitating in the penalty area before beating Lang for a 2-1 lead to OSA FC.
Eronemo wasn’t worried about the issues with the long ball that Kitsap had in the draw.
“It was a couple of simple mistakes that cost us,” he said. “So it looked worse than it really was. We’ll deal with those and we’ll get better from it.”
Bird said that the Pumas won’t have much time to dwell on the result with another home game coming up Wednesday, this one against FC Mulhouse Portland, another team sitting on top of the division table.
“We move on right away,” Bird said. “We’ll talk briefly in the locker room, we’ll come back in training and we’ll fix the things we did wrong and improve the things we did well. But you have to move on right away.”