Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Three advanced to USCS NW Regional playoff rounds from Spokane quintet

Part 2 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 SoccerEdge Academy FC, FC Spokane, Spokane Foxes, XiFA SC and Washington East SC - five of the six clubs that represented the greater-Spokane region.


A pair of U16 girls teams from the academy nearly pulled off a double in the Super and Premier brackets for the club, going 4-1-1 combined in group play. Unfortunately tiebreakers prevented one from moving on.

The Super bracket entry finished with a 2-0-1 record in a group that had one of the most geographically expansive reaches in the entire tournament. They kicked things off with a 3-1 victory over Forza FC of Bountiful, UT followed by a 1-1 draw against a much more local side Snohomish United (WA). A close 3-2 victory over Alaska FC (Wasilla, AK) put the team in first, sending them for the second consecutive year onto the semifinals where they were trumped, 3-0, by FC Portland.

The team was led by Hannah Holm, who is also one of a few high school players on the roster of the WPSL Spokane Shine. She was joined by Colleen Lindsay and Ashley Pedersen, both Idaho Olympic Development players, as well as Taryn Miller a US Club Soccer Regional ID2 player. 

In the Premier bracket, the club’s entry got off to a slow start with a 4-0 loss to Northwest Nationals (Lynnwood, WA). The team rebounded with shutout wins against Washington Crossfire (Redmond, WA), 1-0, and Pacific FC (Vancouver, WA), 3-0. The 2-1-0 record in cross-group play left them tied for first in the group and for the wildcard, leaving them at the mercy of tiebreakers, which they came up short on. Leading the effort to come back though were Haley Spooner and Brie Jones. 


The club sent a boys and a girls team each to the tournament, and as was the case across the numerous U15-16G entries from Spokane, it was the team playing in the side playing in the U15G Premier bracket that made its way beyond group play.

In a 2-1 victory over Cascade FC (Snoqualmie, WA) the FC Spokane team started strong and had most of the play in the first half. A defensive lapse with the final kick of the ball in the first half allowed Cascade to take a 1-0 lead in to halftime. FC Spokane came out re-energized after the break and equalized through Mallory Payne. The team then changed to a 3-4-3 to give more attacking options and to chase the win. It paid off with Serena Farzana scoring the winner with around 10 minutes to play.

FC Spokane started slow in the second game, allowing Northwest Nationals to pick up a 2-1 victory. The Nationals scored midway through the half and added the second just before the break. After halftime FC Spokane came in to the game more and started to dominate possession. Camped in the NWN half, Payne scored midway through the half and FC Spokane again switched to a 3-4-3 formation, but could not repeat the previous success.

The team wrapped up group play with a 1-1 draw against Issaquah (WA). FC Spokane asserted their dominance on this game early and had the lion’s share of possession and shots on goal. Issaquah struggled to compete in midfield and their goal was under siege for most of the game. Payne scored in the third consecutive match, finding the back of the net early in the second half, but FC Spokane failed to capitalize on the dominance in possession and shots. In the last 30 seconds of the game the referee awarded a penalty kick to ISC on virtually their first time in the box in the entire half, allowing them to equalize on the conversion and claim the top spot in the group at 2-0-1 with FC Spokane moving on as the wildcard.

Both sides, however, were blanked in the semifinals with Issaquah falling 3-0 to eventual champion Spokane Shadow and FC Spokane going out on a 2-0 defeat to Central Washington Soccer Academy (Selah, WA).

CWSA had steamrolled through the group stages with three victories of 8-1, 5-0 and 4-1 for a total of 17 goals and just two conceded. FC Spokane started well and had a few chances to take the lead. The game was hard fought in the midfield with both sets of players prepared to leave everything on the field. Though CWSA held a two-goal advantage, the game still in the balance when Payne broke free of the CWSA defense and put the ball in the net only to see the referee rescind the goal as a controversial offside call was made.

Spokane Foxes

The team’s lone side fared well on the other side of the state, finishing 2-1-0 and advancing to the semifinals of the U14G Premier bracket. They opened with a 3-0 victory over Southside Soccer Club (Portland). The second match was a barn-burner that finished 4-3 in favor of eventual group-winner Three Rivers SC (Pasco, WA). The Foxes rebounded with another dominant shutout, blanking Magic City SC (Billings, MT), 5-0, to claim the wildcard berth. They downed another Montana club in the semifinals, topping FC Missoula, 3-1, to reach the final, where the run came to a disappointing end in a 2-1 defeat to Washington Crossfire.

XiFA SC – Spokane, WA

The club had a pair of boys teams at each end of the age spectrum, finishing second in their respective groups in the U13B Premier and U19B Super brackets. The U13 side opened cross-group play with a 4-0 victory over local rival Spokane Shadow and posted its second victory over Magic City SC (Billings, MT). A narrow 1-0 loss to eventual champion Cook Inlet SC (Anchorage, AK) proved costly as it left them tied at 2-1-0 with the Alaskan side and Washington Premier (Puyallup, WA) that left them out of the championship via tiebreakers.

The U19 side found itself in a group that was the weaker of the two in cross-group action. They faced the eventual champion Missoula Strikers in the opening game, falling 4-1 and struggled to rebound in the second match against the other finalist Deportivo Salinas (CA), losing 2-0. They finished on a positive by downing Flathead Soccer Camp (Flathead Valley, MT), 3-2, in the final game.


Playing in the same group of the U19B Super bracket as local rival XiFA, the team faced the same difficulties. WE SC started things off with a 3-0 loss to eventual finalists Deportivo Salinas before posting a 3-1 victory against Flathead Soccer Camp. The biggest result of the string though was a 2-2 draw against future champion Missoula Strikers, who outscored the other opposition in group play 6-1 on aggregate and won the championship game 5-2.

For more information: USCS Tournament Page