By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
Take two minutes away in the second half of the NWAACC women’s soccer title match and Edmonds Community College would have walked out as champions.
Unfortunately, Peninsula College scored two goals in a span of two minutes and held on for a 2-1 victory Sunday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Edmonds Community College took a 1-0 lead on a corner kick by Irina Lyons in the 40th minute. The Tritons came out strong in the second half but then had two major defensive lapses in the 69th and 70th minute that led to goals by Peninsula’s Dominique Niedziela and Larkyn Nelson. Crossing passes got through the Edmonds defense and found both Niedziela and Nelson in front of the goal.
“We just kind of lost control,” said Edmonds coach Jeanette Delaney. “We just kind of had a mental lapse and they took advantage of that. That’s what first and second place teams do. We capitalized on their mistakes as well. That’s how we got our goal.”
After Lyons’ goal gave the Tritons the lead, the Pirates almost tied the score but a shot by Briana Estrellado hit the crossbar. Instead Edmonds went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The game-tying goal by Niedziela, off an assist by Bria Afoa, seemed to rattle Edmonds.
“I think we lost a little momentum after they scored on us,” Delaney said. “We were trying to get back into the game and figure it out. I think Peninsula got a little bit of energy from their goals and put some things together.
A minute later, Peninsula’s Annie Armstrong hit a crossing pass that found Nelson for the go-ahead and eventual game-winner. The Pirates outshout the Tritons 7 to 2.
Edmonds beat Clackamas 2-1 in the semifinals on Saturday. Lyons and Hannah Shouse scored goals for the Tritons, who finished 14-2-3 overall. It was Edmonds’ first appearance in the finals since 2002.
“I was proud of them,” Delaney said of her players. “They played amazing. A couple of minutes when we lost control of the match doesn’t matter to me. … The season has been amazing. It has been a fantastic journey with 21 beautiful women that have just put everything, their heart and soul into the team, into the program and into the college. It’s been a joy and a pleasure to coach them and be with the rest of the coaching staff.”