SPOKANE, WA—(Shadow release) After a thorough 4-1 victory Saturday night the Shadow Men’s First Team completed a weekend sweep against PDX FC of Portland Sunday with a runaway 6-0 result that also locked up the regular season National Premier Soccer League Northwest Conference championship. The result gives Spokane hosting rights for the West Region’s Quarterfinal First Round the weekend of July 7.
And just like the night before, it was former Shadow youth product Karl Muelheims that was on fire. Despite a tough week with new night shifts as a nurse from midnight to 8:00 am the former Whitworth player added a hat-trick and an assist to bring his weekend tally to five goals and two assists.
And he wasted no time. Nine minutes into the game he took a ball from former Whitworth teammate Spencer Wolfe and drove at the keeper, who stopped the initial attempt. The rebound though popped up and Muelheims nodded it over him and into the empty net.
Three minutes after Tanner Williams sent a penalty over the bar Nick Hamer stepped to the spot for another penalty attempt, converting into the lower left for command of the match . Muelheims, though, was not done and finished from the center of the box to make it three a minute before the intermission.
Another Whitworth product then got into the mix with Eric Espinoza tallying two. Muelheims fed him a through ball seven minutes into the second half and he put away a rebound from a saved Chase Reidt shot in the 73rd. He then turned provider, finding Muelheims to complete the hat-trick before Spokane shut things down and ran out the clock.
The victory moved the Shadow to 6-0-4 in their second season in the league and clinched not only a playoff spot, but also the top seed in the Northwest as FCM Portland, who the Shadow hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against, is the only team that can also reach 22 points. The Shadow will host the second-place finisher from the Northwest, either FCM Portland or Kitsap, in the opening round of the West Region Quarterfinals. After the regional quarters points-per-game will determine hosts.
PDX FC 0-6 Spokane Shadow
SPO: Karl Muelheims (Spencer Wolfe) 9
SPO: Nick Hamer (pen) 42
SPO: Karl Muelheims (Jesse Retan) 44
SPO: Eric Espinoza (Karl Muelheims) 52
SPO: Eric Espinoza (Chase Reidt) 73
SPO: Karl Muelheims (Eric Espinoza) 78
Shutout: Carter Auth
NPSL – Northwest Standings
^Spokane Shadow 6-0-4… 22 points
FCM Portland 4-2-4… 16 pts
Kitsap Pumas 4-4-2… 14 pts
PDX FC 2-6-2… 8 pts
OSA FC 2-6-2… 8 pts
^ Clinched regular season title
Top two advance to NPSL West Quarterfinals (July 7) – NW 2 @ NW 1
Remaining West Region / NPSL Playoffs determined by Points Per Game