The Pierce College men’s soccer team is preparing for its final two regular-season games, and seeding and playoff positioning for the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges is on the line.
The Raiders (4-8-2 overall), who are tied for second place in the NWAACC South Division, will host Clark College this afternoon and travel to South Puget Sound College in Olympia on Saturday.
Pierce head coach Mark Lee said his team needs to finish in second or third place to clinch a regional playoff berth. A second-place finish would mean a home playoff game on Nov. 6.
Pierce has come a long way since it started 0-5-2. The Raiders have won four of their past six games.
“We had a rough start and turned it around with some big wins,” Lee said.
The biggest stretch of wins came when Pierce beat Bellevue on Sept. 28, Olympic College on Oct. 5 and Chemeketa on Oct. 9. That gave the Raiders a chance to salvage the season.
“Those three games were huge wins,” Lee said. “Without it, we wouldn’t be in the position we are right now. We want to stay in the No. 2 spot and get home-field advantage. Our guys know what is at stake and are ready for it. We haven’t had the best results we’ve wanted this year, but we still have a chance to reach our goals.”
Lee said defensive midfielder Jay Williams and midfielder Christian Rath have been mainstays in the Raiders’ resurgence.
“We moved Jay from forward to defensive midfielder, and our defense has been so much more sound since then,” Lee said. “We just got Christian back into the lineup about five games ago. He brings an attacking style of offense to our team. We needed more weapons offensively, and he is playing well for us.”