Sportswatch - Nov. 18, 2011

  • Record Setter. Adam Kniffin, seen leaping for a touchdown against Whitworth on Nov. 12, eclipsed his own record for catches and receiving yards in a season in the 40-34 season-ending loss. (Photo by Chris Lund)


Adam Kniffin had 13 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns – eclipsing his own record for number of catches and receiving yards in a season – in Puget Sound’s 40-34 season-ending loss to Whitworth on Nov. 12.

Kniffin ended the season with 95 catches for 995 yards, beating his 92 catches for 911 yards set last season. His touchdown catches of four and 17 yards were his 11th and 12th scores of the season, the second of which gave the Loggers a 21-20 lead just before halftime.

Braden Foley was 25-for-38 for 244 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception, and Kupono Park had 17 carries for 70 yards in a touchdown. The Loggers built a 34-28 lead after three quarters behind Myles McDonald’s 35-yard touchdown catch and Ryan Rogers’ 14-yard score, but couldn’t hold on as Whitworth scored two touchdowns for the win in the fourth.

Despite Kniffin’s record-setting season, the Loggers ended the year 0-9 overall, with a 0-6 record in Northwest Conference play.


Despite setting a program record for wins in a season, the Pacific Lutheran men’s soccer season came to an end with a 4-1 loss to Redlands on Nov. 12 in the opening round of the national tournament.

Cody Carlson got Redlands on the board in the 12th minute, but Surafel Wodajo answered for the Lutes in the 14th minute on a penalty kick after Spencer Augustin was taken down in the box.

Alex Laughton and Jamie Griffin scored later in the first half for Redlands, and Charles Izydorek added a goal in the second half to provide the final margin.

The Bulldogs outshot the Lutes 26-10, as Pacific Lutheran keeper Joe Rayburn made nine saves.

The loss put Pacific Lutheran’s record at 15-4 overall, as they earned a NWC co-championship with Whitworth.


Despite leading 1-0 for most of the game, Puget Sound surrendered a late goal and eventually lost to Concordia-Morehead 3-1 in penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Jenny Moore gave the Loggers a lead as she dribbled past defenders for a goal in the 18th minute. The Cobbers didn’t equalize until the 75th minute, when Sarah Rounds converted on a free kick.

Despite outshooting the Cobbers 3-1 in overtime, neither team scored, and the Loggers were able to convert only one of their four penalty kicks to suffer the loss.

Kara Merfeld made six saves for the Loggers, who finished the season with a 14-3-3 overall record and tallied their 10th straight NWC championship.


Occidental College defeated Pacific Lutheran in a five-set thriller, 25-17, 24-26, 23-25, 25-17, 15-7, on Friday afternoon in opening round match at the NCAA Division III Volleyball regionals.

The Lutes got 12 kills apiece from Bethany Huston and Kelsie Moore, while Erin Bremond added 11. Samantha North had 47 assists and Blair Bjorkman had 23 digs, but Occidental had 90 total digs compared to Pacific Lutheran’s 69. The Lutes also came in third in Division III in blocks, but came up with only 5.5 in the match.

The loss was the fifth consecutive in the opening round of the NCAA postseason tournament for the Lutes, who were making their seventh overall appearance. Pacific Lutheran finished the season with a 21-6 overall record, with a 13-3 conference record that was good for second place.


Tacoma Football Club today announces the transfer of ownership of the Tide and the Seattle Sounders Women to a new local group. Tacoma Tide FC of the Premier Development League (PDL) and the Seattle Sounders Women of the W-League have been purchased by Lane Smith and Cliff McElroy, with former owner/operator Mike Jennings maintaining a minority stake. The United Soccer Leagues (USL) approved the sale of the teams on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

“We are coming on board with the goal of growing these two teams and establishing an even greater connection with their communities,” Lane Smith said. “The Tide and the Sounders Women both represent a strong work ethic as well as stepping stones on the path for our local players in their soccer careers.”

McElroy says the new group promises to work hard for and with local soccer supporters. "The Tacoma Football Club looks forward to the opportunity to increase engagement of the Sounders Women and Tacoma Tide into the Puget Sound community. We plan to work hard to bring more fan and youth involvement as well as business ties to these two local teams and expand the Pacific Northwest's storied Football tradition."

Tacoma Tide FC were established by Mike Jennings and Pat Garlock in 2006. The club has competed in the Premier Development League (PDL) Northwest Division for the past six seasons, finishing first in 2008 and qualifying for the playoffs twice. The Seattle Sounders Women were founded in 2003. They were added under the Tacoma Football Club banner in December of 2008 and are annual playoff contenders.

Smith and McElroy invite Tide and Sounders Women fans to post their thoughts and ideas about the 2012 seasons on their respective Facebook pages. Fans can also visit and to watch for future news and announcements.


Several people gathered on Nov. 8 at the site of the future Pacific Sports Center in South Tacoma for its groundbreaking ceremony.

After six years in the planning process, Marian Bowers is finally getting a permanent home for the Tacoma Stars soccer team, who play in the Professional Arena Soccer League. The 52,000 square-foot building will feature two indoor turf fields with plenty of parking for athletes and spectators. Pacific Sports Center will have a public partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma for programming and use of the facility. Located right off I-5 on South 80th Street, the facility will be open to all sports and athletic groups interested in using the large indoor turf fields.

Having managed an indoor soccer facility previously, Bowers has plenty of experience in venue operations. She also has a long-standing history with the local soccer community as rights owner to the Tacoma Stars. She first thought up the idea for the Pacific Sports Center six years ago, but spent three years searching for the right location and two years working with the architect to plan it. Bowers was all smiles as she thanked the people there who were instrumental to making the project happen, and invited them to hold the shovel with her to break ground. Bowers added, “Had it not been for these people, I would not be here today.”

Poe Construction has begun the project, which is expected to be completed in mid-February.


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