EPLWA: Hammers, Capitals, Shock join Victory as weekend winners

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The Hammers are now 2-0-0 at Civic in front of their supporters.

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BELLINGHAM, WA— Bellingham United (2-0-0) tallied their second win in as many games to go top of the Evergreen Premier League table on Sunday at Civic Stadium with a 3-1 win over the Olympic Force (1-1-0).

On Saturday night Vancouver Victory FC beat two-time defending champions Spokane Shadow 3-0 in Spokane. The Victory are also 2-0-0 with 6 points.

(This report supplied by BUFC, cover photo by David Willoughby)

bufc-clearUnited got off to a flying start in the second minute of the match, when Christian Caro’s long ball found Kyle Witzel, who calmly slotted the ball past Force goalkeeper Shaunte Smith.

The relentless pressure from forward Nick Cashmere was too much for the Force defense, and he was able to find Richard Henderson 12 yards out who slotted the ball home putting United 2-0 up inside the half hour mark.

Despite being behind, Olympic continued to push forward forcing goalkeeper Tyler Vistin into four saves in the first half. Eventually, they made their breakthrough to cut United’s lead to one.

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Brendan Quilici (left) battles Kyle Johnson. (David Willoughby)

In the midst of a frantic scene inside the Hammers’ penalty area, Force players were irate when they believed one of their shots had crossed the goal line. Their worries were ultimately quelled when defender Kyle Johnson was able to nod the ball in the net from six yards out.

Olympic_Force_Logo_2Just before the end of the half, Richard Henderson made one final lung-busting run down the wing. His cross took an awkward deflection off a Force defender and left the goalkeeper helpless as Nick Cashmere finished to restore Bellingham’s two goal advantage at halftime.

The second half saw an increase in intensity from both teams, particularly United. Challenges started flying in from all angles, forcing the referee to issue three cautions in the last quarter hour of the match.

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After the whistle: Force and Hammers players shake hands.

Olympic was forced to play roughly 10 minutes down a man after midfielder Miles Nelson went off injured and their side had used all of their substitutions.

The Hammers used the man advantage to mount several threatening attacks, but efforts from substitutes Mo Marenah and Conlon Kiffney went begging, and the match ended 3-1 in favor of United.

Next Sunday, the Hammers travel down Interstate 5 to visit Vancouver Victory, the only other side in EPLWA to have won their first two matches of the season. The Force return to Bremerton for their first home match of the season on Saturday against the Spokane Shadow.

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Wenatchee FC and South Sound FC are in the victory column this season after both sides battled to victories on Sunday afternoon. Here’s the updated EPLWA table.

Wenatchee FC 5-2 Yakima United FC

WFC_gradient_logo_pngYUFCCREST_WHITE_300_WIDEIt was a wild second half at the Apple Bowl on Sunday as a 1-0 Wenatchee (1-1-0) lead at the break turned into a goalfest ending with a 5-2 ledger for the Capitals over Yakima United (0-1-1.)

Wenatchee’s goals came from Eleazar Galvan, Hernan Mendoza, Yonathan Rodriguez, Edwin Tinoco, and Adan Martinez. Yakima countered with goals from William Pineda and Alvaro Valencia.

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The far stand was closed for repairs as Wenatchee FC and Central Washington rivals Yakima United lined up before kick off at the Apple Bowl. (WFC photos)

Seattle Stars FC 1-2 South Sound FC

STARS-LOGO-new-575ssfc-500The all-time leader in goals in the EPLWA, Tyler Bjork, got his second of the season (37th minute) for the Stars (0-2-0) at French Field.

It wasn’t enough as JJ Schmeck (Penalty kick, 10th minute) and Eddie Na (62nd minute) answered for the Shock (1-1-0).

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Stars and Shock take the pitch Sunday night at French Field.

EPLWA Standings

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Table updated through May 8, 2016

EVERGREEN PREMIER LEAGUE – 2016  Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
BELLINGHAM UNITED 6  2  2  0  0  7  +4
VANCOUVER VICTORY 6 2 2  0  0 5 1  +4
WENATCHEE FC 3  2  1  1  0  7 6  +1
OLYMPIC FORCE 3  2  1  1  0  5 4  +1
SOUTH SOUND 3  2  1  1  0  3 3  0
YAKIMA UNITED 1  2  0  1  1  2 5  -3
SPOKANE SHADOW 1  2  0  1  1  0 0 -3
SEATTLE STARS 0  2  0  2  0  2 6  -4
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