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Kitsap Pumas' season ends in heat, heartbreak
LAREDO, TEXAS — Rodrigo Lopez's goal off a free kick two minutes into added time lifted the Ventura County Fusion past the Kitsap Pumas in the Premier Development League quarterfinals, 2-1, ending the Pumas inaugural season in the United Soccer Leagues.
Ventura advances to the semifinals, where it will face either the Laredo (Texas) Heat or Bradenton (Fla.) Academics.
With temperatures creeping above 100 degrees, the Fusion struck first on Anthony Hamilton's club-high ninth goal of the season in the 27th minute. Hamilton converted after Pumas forward Kyle Johnson hit the crossbar from 30 yards out, setting up a counterattack.
The Pumas tied the game shortly before halftime when 6-foot-5-inch defender Max Lipset scored on a header off a Steve Mohn throw-in. It was Lipset's second goal of the season.