Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spokane Shadow send 16 teams; win three USCS NW Regional championships

Part 3 of a three-part series recapping the performance of Inland Northwest clubs from Washington at the US Club Soccer Northwest Regional tournament held June 23-26 in Seattle. For an overall look at the event and links to other two parts, click here. 

This section covers 16 teams from the new-look Spokane SC Shadow - one of the six clubs that represented the greater-Spokane region.


One age group the Shadow dominated was U15 Girls as the entries into both the Super and Premier groups reached their respective finals.

The Super side opened with a 4-0 victory over Maple Valley Premier before suffering its lone loss in the second match, 3-1, to Washington Rush. They bounced back with another big 4-0 victory against Oswego Southside Soccer Academy (Portland, OR), advancing as the group-winner via tiebreakers with Rush, who moved on as a wild card.

“The highlight was the shootout win over the Alaska state champions, seeing us come from behind twice with one of those times in the overtime period, was outstanding,” said Technical Director Sean Bushey on behalf of team coach George Hageague, the head coach of Eastern Washington University. “The girls showed great resolve and really started where they left off last season [Washington Championship Cup semifinalists], proving again that they are one of the elite teams in Washington”

The Shadow’s shootout contest came in the semifinals versus Cook Inlet Soccer club of Anchorage. It finished with the Shadow moving on, 3-2, before coming up short in the final, 2-1, against FC Portland.

U12G Super Champions
It looked like things were going to be completely different for the matching Super entry as they were completely over-matched in the opening game against Central Washington Soccer Academy in cross-group play, 8-1. The team showed improvement the following match with a narrow 1-0 decision against FC Alliance (Seattle) and downed Legacy Nationals to finish the group 2-1-0 and claim a semifinal berth. The Shadow blanked Issaquah (WA), who were unbeaten in their group (2-0-1), in the semifinal by a 3-0 scoreline, setting up a rematch with CWSA, who had advanced with a 2-0 win over FC Spokane. The Shadow showed a tremendous turnaround, taking the title with a 1-0 decision for the championship.

“The weekend proved to be a great kickoff to our new team, club and season. The girls responded excellently to each other and it was a joy to be a part of it.  Our focus was on the ‘experience’ and gaining in knowledge and trust of each other.  The weekend proved to be a success,” added Bushey, who is also the head coach for the Whitworth University Women.

It was a sentiment that certainly applied for the entire club.

The club’s U16G Super entry also advanced from group play. They kicked things off with a 3-3 draw against FC Alliance before beating Mt Rainier FC (Sumner, WA), 2-1, and tied FC Portland 4-4. The results were enough to advance as a wild card, but the team fell in a narrow 1-0 loss to eventual champion La Roca FC (Kaysville, UT) in the semifinals.

The same two age brackets on the boys side also found success, reaching the U16B Super championship and coming up just shy of a title in the U15B Premier bracket.

U16B Super Champions
The U16 side swept their way to the title, though every game was decided by one goal. They kicked things off with a 1-0 victory against Emerald City FC (Seattle) before topping Eastside FC (Bellevue, WA) and Eugene Metro FC (OR) by the same 2-1 scoreline to win the group and advance to the final. The claimed the championship against Real Boise (ID) with another 2-1 result.

The U15 side was part of a small four-team bracket that crowned a champion solely via group play. The Shadow opened this with a 4-2 victory against Pumas and nipped Tyncastle (Everett) in the second match, 1-0. They finished things up with a scoreless draw against Washington Premier (Puyallup, WA), creating a tie between the two for the title. WPFC, however, defeated the other two teams 5-3 and 4-2, respectively, winning the title via tiebreakers.

The younger age groups also saw a pair of girls teams perform well, reaching the U12G Super semifinals and winning the U11G Super championship.

The U12 team started things off with a 2-2 draw against Vancouver United before beating Washington Crossfire, 2-1, and Tynecastle, 5-0, in cross-group play to advance to the semifinals, where they fell, 4-0, to eventual champion Seattle United.

U11G Super Champions
With only six entries, the U11 side dominated in cross-group play with Washington Crossfire, setting up a showdown of 3-0-0 sides in the final. They blanked Issaquah SC 2-0 in the first game and downed Tynecastle, 5-2, in the second match before finishing up with another shutout, 3-0, against FC Crush (Kitsap, WA). The Shadow won the big final, getting another clean sheet against Crossfire, 2-0.

The U11 Boys Super representative also performed well, finishing in a three-way tie for first in their group at 2-1-0. Unfortunately, they were third on the tiebreakers, missing out on the final, though the eventual champion Washington Crossfire handed the Shadow its lone defeat in a stunning 9-0 scoreline.

The same thing happened to the U14B Super squad. They finished third in tiebreakers after a three-way tie at 2-1-0.

For more information: USCS Tournament Page