Bellingham, Seattle battle to draw at top of Evergreen Premier League table

eplwa-600-cropThe July 1-2 weekend of action is complete in the Evergreen Premier League and three clubs are still bunched at the top of the table. On Saturday Vancouver Victory got a full 3 points in Spokane. On Sunday the Seattle Stars traveled to Civic Stadium in Bellingham for a big match against Bellingham United that ended in a draw. Meanwhile down south in Yakima the Victory had to rally with two late goals to get a point against the Hoppers.

On Saturday Vancouver edged Spokane 3-2 and Oly Town FC topped Yakima 3-1.

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Jeremiah Lee (left) keeps track of Seattle’s Miles Sanchez. (Jon Bergman photo)

BELLINGHAM UNITED 1-1 SEATTLE STARS

BELLINGHAM, WA—Bellingham United and first place Seattle Stars played to a spirited 1-1 draw on Sunday before a noisy gathering at Civic Stadium. The result left Seattle still atop the table with Bellingham and Vancouver 3 points back. All three clubs have played 9 matches.

Photo Gallery: Jon Bergman

Miles Sanchez put Seattle up 1-0 in the 10th minute when he scored his 5th goal of the season for the Stars. Bellingham returned fire for much of the rest of the match. It was defender Brady Ulen who got the Hammers level in the 37th minute. Ulen stayed with the play as the ball bounced around the box and then followed his own shot with one that went in.

The standout player the rest of the way was Seattle goalkeeper Saif Kerawala (Washington Huskies). He made several saves, including two that were destined to be goals and had the crowd and the Hammers looking on in disbelief as the were parried away.

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Saif Kerawala stood tall in goal for Seattle on Sunday as the Stars got a point in Bellingham. (Jon Bergman photo)

YAKIMA UNITED 2-2 VANCOUVER VICTORY

YAKIMA, WA—Vancouver left it late but managed to get a goal in the 75th and a second in the 80th minute to earn a point against the Hoppers at Sozo Sports Complex. It was a crucial rally that kept the Victory even on points with Bellingham and a win behind Seattle.

Sebastian Navarro delivered two assists for Yakima United. The first came in the 30th minute when he connected with Ramon Ayala to give the home side a 1-0 lead. It looked good for the Hoppers when they made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute as Navarro found Alejandre Rodriguez. But the Victory stormed back with late goals from Stefan Wutte and Armando Lopez to steal a point.

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An early goal by Jose Gonzalez (far right) helped the Shadow top the Force. (Shadow photo)

SPOKANE SHADOW 4-0 OLYMPIC FORCE

SPOKANE, WA— Jose Gonzalez (CC Spokane) scored 16 minutes in courtesy of Gabriel DiNatale (Univ of Great Falls) to give the Shadow a running start at the Spokane Polo Grounds on Sunday.

Then it became the Christian Haas (Whitworth U) show. For the third time in two days, Eric Espinoza set the former Lewiston HS player up for a score, pushing the lead to two in the 27th minute. In the second half Haas added to it. A punt from Bryan Hernandez found him in the 50th minute at midfield and he drove forward on the play, beating a defender and rounding the goalkeeper to finish into the empty net. He finished his hat-trick in the 84th on a ball from Chase Reidt (CC Spokane/Central Valley HS), giving him five for the weekend.

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Christian Haas (at right) completed a stellar weekend of 5 goals with a hat trick on Sunday against the Olympic Force. (Shadow photo)
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