PORT ORCHARD, WA—Port Orchard Football Club scored a list full of firsts on Sunday May 7, 2023 as the club made their debut in the Cascadia Premier League at South Kitsap High School’s Ed Fisher Field. First goal, first hat trick, first shut out, first league win. It all came together in a comprehensive 8-0 rout over Steel United before a crowd of 624.
The match was covered in stories in The Kitsap Daily News and The Kitsap Sun.
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Spotlight: Meade to Riders For First-Ever POFC Goal
The first-ever goal for POFC came in the 5th minute of the match when Sam Meade delivered a cross right to the head of Nick Riders who calmly redirected the ball over the Steel United goalkeeper. Fans were still arriving to the match and the home club had already made history.
Seven more goals followed including five more in the first half alone. Michael Divano stamped his name on the match with a cool touch that rolled into the goal to make it 2-0. Divano was quick to pounce and strike again with a ball that came his way a few minutes later to raise the count to 3-0. Steel United could not stop Divano without fouling him.
The Klahowya High grad and Schalke (Germany) academy player drew a penalty kick next. Hunter Milbrot converted and it was 4-0 POFC. The rout was on moments later when the two paired up again. A POFC rush pushed ahead of the Steel back line and Divano slid a ball across the goal for Milbrot to tap in to make it 5-0. Dominik Pajimola capped off the six goal first half outburst by bossing his way into the box from the left and converting a blast at a tough angle.
The Port Orchard defense had very little to do but when called upon goalkeeper Caleb Tucker and his line were more than up to the challenge. At one point Tucker followed a slow rolling ball aimed towards the far post and smashed into the frame, dislodging the goal. But he pushed the ball wide and preserved the shutout.
In the second half POFC kept rolling. Divano wowed the crowd with a bicycle attempt. Then he got his hat trick when he left-footed a loose ball from close range, blasting it into the Steel United goal to make it 7-0.
The demolition was complete when Jeffrey Pickering found the corner of the goal wide open and calmly placed a perfect shot in the late stages of the match.
The day began with supporters gathering at The Port Orchard Pub and ended hours later with fans and team members celebrating at Peninsula Beverage Company on the waterfront in downtown.
Fans arriving early were rewarded with engraved wooden magnets from Create It! Woodworks that commemorated POFC’s first league match. The Pink Gorilla Espresso & Food Truck served to a hungry crowd. “Mile Hill Munchies” sold out at the club concession table. South Kitsap Soccer Club provided ball kids. It all added up to one of the more memorable days in Port Orchard sports history.