Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bigfoot host powerhouse Walla Walla Wednesday at the Falls

The powerhouses of the region are headed to Spokane Wednesday as the reigning nine-time NWAACC East Region champion Walla Walla Community College visit to play the unbeaten ladies of the Community Colleges of Spokane at Spokane Falls CC in a doubleheader with the men.

The Spokane women come into the match leading the division with a perfect 4-0-0 record and are one of three teams in the 23-team league with an unbeaten record on the young season and Walla Walla, which has won the league championship the past three years and reached the league final the past seven seasons, is in second at 3-1-0.

Currie (7) celebrates last weekend's winner
“We got a tough week coming up,” said CC Spokane women’s head coach Jim Martinson. “We got Walla Walla, who is our Eastern region rival. That will be a good game. Hopefully we can get some of these girls healthy that are out right now. And then Saturday, we got the number two team in the NWAACC from last year that knocked us out of the quarterfinals so we gotta go back over there (to Peninsula College). The girls are up for that one because they ended our season last year. Tough week for sure for us; hopefully we are rested and prepared.”

Last Saturday, the women picked up their fourth win of the conference campaign with a narrow 1-0 decision against visiting Tacoma CC of the West Division. The Bigfoot dominated the contest, but had difficulty finding the back of the net after Lateashea Currie’s strike in the 27th minutes when a ball out of midfield from Gaby Kennedy found her in the box, where she was unchallenged and put it past the keeper from 13 yards out.

“We knew coming in we were hurt, missing one of our center backs and one of our strikers. And we knew if we that if we didn’t put them away early, then it would be a grind. Sure enough, we had our chances to make it a three or four nothing game and end up grinding, which we shouldn’t have had to do today.”

Kat Tsoukalas (Kennewick, WA)
The team continued to control the possession throughout the contest with Currie and Tasha Luu (Colville, WA) dominating up the middle and Kat Tsoukalas (Kennewick, WA) threatening up the wing. The only thing keeping them off the board was hesitation to pull the trigger at the final moments of their opportunities.

“Lateashea’s fast, she’s not fit yet – she came in a little late trying to get summer school done and get her eligible, and she got hurt so she’s not fit yet and you didn’t see much of her in the second half. Luu is not our one-v-one stud yet, she’s more of an 18 yards, bang it. She took over the job for Lateashea in the second half and was unfortunate a couple times. Kat is just a beautiful player, coming out wide”.

As the game wore on, Rainey Pelzel began to take control and run through the Tacoma defense for several chances that narrowly missed. Goalkeeper Asia Porter was rarely tested in the match after Tacoma’s best opportunity in the 24th minute.

The one-goal decision against Tacoma was a rarity for Spokane, which got off to an explosive start to the season with 21 goals in the first five minutes, though they did play to a scoreless draw in their second outing.

Walla Walla, meanwhile, recovered from a slow start that saw them split a pair of 1-0 results in the first two games of non-conference play before dominating in their first three league matches to the tune of 19 goals to one. They come into Wednesday’s contest, however, on the heels of a 1-0 road loss to unbeaten Bellevue.

The Warriors bring to Spokane quite a varied roster featuring not only players from throughout the state from the east side of the Cascades that includes quite a few from Tri-Cities, but also a healthy dose of players from Idaho.

The Walla Walla men have been no slouches either, winning three of the last four division titles as well as reaching the league final twice, including the 2008 championship. Meanwhile, since Spokane last won the division in 2007, the team has been on a steady decline, missing the postseason for the first time a year ago since 2003.

Last week's loss was one nobody wanted to watch
“We are in our tough week right now,” said CCS men’s head coach Kenny Krestian. “We play at home Wednesday against Walla Walla, who always in our conference it’s a battle with us.

“Then we go on the road to Peninsula College who is a powerhouse too in the NWAACC,” he added about the 2010 league champions, who have won the West Division three of the last five years.

The Bigfoot men are coming off a stunning 4-0 loss to Tacoma in which Cesar Esquivel and Chris Peterson tallied two goals and an assist each on the day.

“The wheels just kind of fell off the bus today,” said Krestian after the match. “I felt we were much more improved attacking-wise getting numbers forward in the first half; and one shot, one goal for them. And the second half, a minute in we’re down 2-0 and I just don’t think the guys recovered from there and we lost our way.”

It was the second of two consecutive big losses, having fallen 3-0 the week before at North Idaho College, and was the third consecutive in which they had not scored going back to the scoreless draw in the home opener at the newly installed home field at Spokane Falls, which is still undergoing renovations around the rest of the facility.