Defending Evergreen Premier League Champions Vancouver Victory held for a 3-2 on Saturday in Spokane over the Shadow and the Oly Town Artesians won a second straight away match 3-1 in Yakima over the Hoppers as both sides moved up the EPLWA table. See reports below.
Spokane Shadow 2-3 Vancouver Victory
SPOKANE, WA—(Shadow release) Things got off to a rough start for the Shadow as a foul committed in the opening minute of play allowed Vancouver to grab the lead on a penalty converted by Stefan Wutte in the second minute.
The Shadow fought back looking for an equalizer with former youth product Christian Haas (Whitworth) leading the charge. Midway through the half he took a ball deep on the right and fired on goal, forcing a rebound that Brayden Sullivan narrowly put wide of the left post from the middle of the box. He did eventually find the back of the net, pulling the hosts even in the 39th on a fantastic effort from fellow Pirate Eric Espinoza. Espinoza took the ball at midfield and bolted forward, juking past one defender and as he drew several more to him nearing the top of the box, he fed the ball to his right where Haas collected it and fired home from about 23 yards inside the far left post.
Vancouver, though, were able to tally twice back-to-back midway through the second half with Moi Diaz finishing the ball off in the 65th and Nathaniel Cheney giving them a two-goal advantage in the 67th.
Espinoza and Haas, though, were not done and combined again in the 78th for Haas’ second of the match, giving the Shadow hopes of earning a point on the day. Though chances came, Spokane was unable to find the finish to do so, however, and suffered the loss.
VAN: Stefan Wutte (pen) 2
SPO: Christian Haas (Eric Espinoza) 39
VAN: Moises Diaz (Stefan Wutte) 65
VAN: Nathaniel Cheney (Bobby Hutchin) 67
SPO: Christian Haas (Eric Espinoza) 78
Yakima United 1-3 Oly Town FC
UNION GAP, WA—(Artesians release) Tom Kemennu recorded a pair of goals and Gabriele Zaccagnini chipped in two assists to lead the Oly Town Artesians to a 3-1 victory over Yakima United on a scorching Saturday night at SOZO Sports. Blake McMillian scored his second goal in the last two games and Ryan Perkins was solid in goal to lift the Artesians to fourth place in the Evergreen Premier League.
Both teams got off to a hot start and the game could have easily gone a different way if Alex Molchan’s shot in the third minute didn’t catch the post. Yakima United players could be heard celebrating the goal only to see it kick out at the last second. Just a minute later, Kemennu saw Yakima keeper Jacob Rhoads coming out to him on a breakaway and flicked it up and over to put the Artesians up 1-0 in the fifth minute.
Samuel Rodriguez evened the game up at 1-1 in the 42nd minute when he cleaned up a rebound off Perkins after a long shot. But Zaccagnini looked to put the Artesians up 2-1 moments later, but his excellent effort getting up after getting knocked down in the box and finishing was waved off after the ref called a handball. The game went to halftime tied up 1-1.
The Artesians looked like the heat was getting to them and Yakima was the aggressor early in the second half. But the Hoppers couldn’t cash in and Blake McMillian made them pay, scoring off of a corner kick from Zaccagnini for the second straight game to put Oly Town up 2-1 in the 63rd minute. Zaccagnini got credit for his second assist of the game and fifth of the season on a beautiful pass across the box that led Kemennu to his first brace for the Artesians.
Perkins made a handful of saves over the last 15 minutes and the Artesians defense stepped up to keep the Hoppers off the board and Oly won their second road game of the week, 3-1.
The win moved the Artesians to 4-4-1 with 13 points in their inaugural season in the EPLWA. They will travel to Gordon Field in Bremerton on Sunday, July 9th to face the Olympic Force and will return home to Wembley Field at The Evergreen State College two days later to face the Vancouver Victory on Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 PM.
Follow the Artesians all season long by visiting http://www.olytownfc.com, following them on Twitter at twitter.com/OlyTownFC, and liking them on Facebook at FB.com/OlyTownFC.