[PDL] The Michigan Bucks won their second PDL championship with a 1-0 victory over the Kitsap Pumas on a goal by Tom Owens just before the hour mark in the final at Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Sunday afternoon.
Owens picked up a short clearance by the Pumas defense and drove freely into the penalty area,
firing a low shot into the right corner of the net that capped a good spell of pressure.
“Usually I’m someone who would try to take a touch, or pass it,” Owens
said. “I took a touch, and no one closed me down, and I took another one and before I know it I’m 12 yards out, so I thought why not take a shot, and lucky enough for me it went in the
bottom corner. Unbelievable feeling.”
Michigan goalkeeper Adam Grinwis, the championship game MVP, had to be sharp two minutes later as
he saved a near-post deflection off his own defender. Kitsap almost found an equalizer with 15 minutes to go as a Miguel Gonzalez’s close-range header was
tipped over the crossbar by Grinwis, who made another crucial save on Septi Danciu two minutes later.
“It got a little crazy toward the
end," Grinwis said of Gonzalez’s chance. "They were throwing everything they had, and I think it took a slight deflection about six yards out. I think instinct just kicked in; I got a hand to it
and got super-lucky to see it go over the bar.”
The Bucks' previous title came in 2006. They were also regular-season champions in 2008 and 2012.
AWARDS. The Bucks' Dzenan Catic was named the PDL Most Valuable Player to go along with his Golden Boot (16 regular-season goals and a pair of
postseason goals). Other awards went to Young Player of the Year Ricardo Velazco (FC Tucson), Goalkeeper of the Year Billy
Thompson (FC Tucson) and Coach of the Year Michael Jeffries (Des Moines Menace).