BELLINGHAM, WA— Bellingham United won their first league title on Saturday night at the Bellingham Sportsplex with a wild, spirited 8-5 win over the Olympic Force in the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL) Final before a packed house of 755 screaming, chanting fans.
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Founded in 2011, BUFC began play in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in 2012 before helping found the Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA) for a 2014 kick off. Along the way the Hammers took over indoors for the WSA Rapids. In the first WISL Final BUFC lost 6-2 to the Tacoma Stars. This year the Hammers returned to the Final and won it all.
It was a quick start for Bellingham. The home side led 3-0 in the first quarter after goals from Nick Cashmere, Kurtis Pederson and Richard Henderson.
Alhassan Awudu pulled one back for the Force to make it 3-1, but BUFC answered right back with an Oscar Jimenez strike. It was 4-1 after one quarter of play.
One goal highlighted the second quarter and it came on a penalty kick conversion by Jimenez. Olympic goalkeeper David Meherg was judged to have impeded a Hammers breakway. Jimenez calmly poked in the 5th Hammers goal and it was 5-1 at halftime.
The Force desperately needed the next goal of the match and they got it from Kyle Johnson. However, just like their first goal, the Force surrendered shortly after on a shot from Conner Moe. Bellingham looked set at 6-2 midway into the third quarter.A power play opportunity came to Olympic and Miles Nilsen made it count to bring the vistors to withing 6-3 going into the fourth quarter.
Player / coach Brendan Quilici put Bellingham up 7-3 with twelve minutes to go, but Olympic was bossing the match. Soon enough the Force had made it a match with two goals to bring the score to 7-5. Simba and Victor Kelmel came up big from the Olympic defense to notch the goals.
At risk of the counter attack because they were throwing it all forward, the Force conceded when Jimenez fed Quilici to make it 8-5. The rest of the way Olympic maintained possession but couldn’t score, and when the whistle blew the record crowd went crazy for the home town win.