NWPL settles regular season as six clubs move on to playoffs

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The 2017 Northwest Premier League regular season came to a dramatic conclusion the weekend of July 8-9. Now it is time for six clubs to plan for the playoffs, but not before we take a look at the five matches played to end our second (regular) season.

Cover Photo: Katie Mitchkiosky was the hero as her two goals led NCW Alliance FC (Wenatchee) to a 2-1 win over the Olympic Force on Sunday. Photo by David Falk.

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Twin City Union Facebook photo.

WPSS Shock 4-0 Twin City Union

PUYALLUP, WA— The Shock gave themselves momentum heading into the playoffs with a big win at WPFC Fields Complex on Saturday July 8. The loss eliminated the Union from playoff contention.  The Shock will play at Fuerza FC in the first round of the playoffs.

WPSS goals came from Chelsea Foster, Ali Oatridge, Rachel Wofford, and Liz Griffith. The shutout for the Shock was recorded by goalkeeper Rian Kasner.

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The Spokane Shadow finish second in the NWPL and secure a first round playoff bye after they beat Yakima United 5-2 on Saturday in Spokane. (Shadow photo)

Spokane Shadow 5-2 Yakima United

SPOKANE, WA— The Shadow and Hoppers battled on Saturday. League-leading scorer Lauryn Peters stole the ball off a Shadow centerback and, all alone with the keeper to beat, finished the chance with a nice shot for the lead in the 23rd. The advantage only lasted five minutes though as Emmy Moore finished a corner from Meaghan Bare to tie it up. Hailey Tucker gave Spokane the lead in the 52nd but the Hoppers replied when Kaley Roberts struck a long looping shot that dropped in under the bar.

Spokane, though, ran off three unanswered for the win with a lot of excellent work from Havana Johnson. She scored the first in the 76th and the final goal in the 90th. Katie Bischoff also scored in the 80th in her first appearance of the season.

Spokane has a first round playoff bye. Yakima United will visit Washington Timbers in the playoffs this weekend.

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Seattle topped the Timbers 1-0 at French Field. (Alan Moditz)

Seattle Stars 1-0 Washington Timbers

KENT, WA—Simone Herzberg’s 4th minute goal stood up the rest of the way as Seattle Stars (9-1-0) edged Washington Timbers (6-3-1) on Saturday at French Field in Kent. The shutout went to Lee Erickson. The Stars clinched the regular season title and the Timbers finished 3rd. Seattle will get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Timbers will host Yakima United in a first round match this weekend.

Match Photos: Rick Edelman / Alan Moditz

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JULY-9-NWPL

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Spokane Shadow 2-1 Fuerza FC

SPOKANE, WA—For the second consecutive season, the Shadow Women’s First Team finished their regular season Northwest Premier League campaign with just one loss, downing visiting Fuerza FC 2-1 Sunday at the Polo Grounds for a 9-1-0 record going into the postseason. It was the team’s 20th win in two seasons.

Spokane has a first round playoff bye. Fuerza FC will host WPSS Shock this weekend.

Despite some early Shadow forays near the Fuerza goal, the visitors – fresh from not playing the day prior as the Shadow ladies had – got on the board first 10 minutes into the contest when Karin Heisen found the back of the net.

Spokane rebounded with back-to-back goals later in the half that would hold for the victory under the blazing sun. After several attempts in the box for the Shadow in the 32nd minute Fuerza cleared the ball away. However, the ball went to McKenna Stocker (Concordia / CV HS), who launched a long ball from the left side back toward the far side of the six where Havana Johnson (Lake City HS) was on hand to put it away.

A minute later, shortly after the kick off, defender Tiara Pajimola drove forward with the ball and the former Whitworth and Shadle striker let loose from about 40 yards, connecting for what stood as the game-winner.

Olympic Force 1-2 NCW Alliance

BREMERTON, WA— The NCW Alliance surprised the Olympic Force and the league with a big 2-1 win in Bremerton that kept Olympic out of the 2017 playoffs. Katie Mitchkiosky scored both goals for Alliance. Her first put them up 1-0 in the 53rd minute. The Force answered back with a long range bomb from K-Lee Haynes in the 59th to make it 1-1. As time ticked away it looked as though the Force – who needed to win – would be eliminated with a tie. Then in the 89th minute Mitchkiosky finished in front of goal to give the visitors their historic first-ever NWPL triumph.

Match Photos: David Falk

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Katie Mitchkiosky scored a brace as Alliance won their first NWPL match. (David Falk)
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