Penguins to face undefeated Peninsula today
Just when it looked like the season was over, the Clark College men’s soccer team now has one more match to play.
Abdiel Mofin scored in added time to tie Highline, and then Bernardino Ayala-Jimenez netted the winner in the 98th minute as the Penguins defeated Highline 2-1 in the NWAACC semifinal Saturday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
The Penguins (19-2-1) will play for the championship at 5:30 p.m. today against Peninsula.
Peninsula (20-0-2), ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC coaches poll, defeated Walla Walla 2-0 in the second semifinal on Saturday.
Highline (15-7-1) led Clark 1-0 after a goal in the 19th minute by Jordan Cohen.
Clark had several chances in the end before Mofin’s goal tied the match in the 90th minute.
“We had lots of opportunities, but didn’t finish,” Clark coach Biniam Afenegus said. “We just started pushing more players forward and ended up getting (a goal).
“I thought it might be a disappointing end (to the season), but we made a couple of positive plays.”
The teams then played a golden-goal overtime where the next score would win.
Clark capitalized in the extra time with Ayala-Jimenez’s goal off an assist from Gustavo Gonzalez to earn a shot at the championship.
Johnathan Morales was credited with six saves in goal for the Penguins.
It will be the second meeting this season between the second-ranked Penguins and Peninsula (20-0-2).
Peninsula beat Clark 2-0 on Oct. 5 at Port Angeles.
“I think it will be a bit of a chess match,” Afenegus said. “We know what they do, they know what we do. I expect a 1-0, 2-1 kind of game. We just need to step up and make plays.”
It will be Clark’s third championship game appearance, having won titles in 2007 and 1997.
Peninsula has won two of the last three NWAACC championships.
Clark withstood a last-minute shot to beat Bellevue 75-72 in its NWAACC season opener at the O’Connell Center.
The Penguins missed two free throws that would have sealed the win with 2.6 seconds left. Bellevue got off a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off the mark.
“It was nice to see us come out and get a win against a good opponent like Bellevue when we didn’t play our best,” Clark coach Alex Kirk said. “They guys gritted it out.”
Sean Price led the Penguins with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Collin Spickerman added 18 points and eight rebounds.
Clark returns to action at Portland Community College next Saturday.