Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Could Halloween be Ching’s last hurrah?

If you are a local soccer fan, you may want to postpone trick-or-treating with the kids or turn the TV on at the party to catch the game on ESPN2 at 6:00 pm PT.

When the Orange Crush aptly take the field on Halloween Wednesday night on the road against the Chicago Fire, it could very well mark the end of the playing career of former Gonzaga and Spokane Shadow PDL forward Brian Ching if his Houston Dynamo fail to advance from the opening round match.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 Conference Honors dished out to INW players

Now that the college regular seasons around the northwest and beyond are wrapping up, the various conferences are announcing their season honors. As players from or at schools in the coverage area are recognized, we will aggregate them here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

College Recap - CCC & Frontier: Northwest spoils Concordia title sweep in CCC

The Concordia women suffered their second straight loss in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, this time to second-place Northwest University, allowing the Eagles to take the conference lead and ultimately win the regular season championship. Meanwhile, the race for the postseason came to a dramatic finish with Corban needing help from one-win Eastern Oregon and nearly had the final berth with Southern Oregon scored late for a draw. The Concordia men remained unbeaten and clinched a 13th regular season title in 15 years as three of the four playoff teams are set heading into the final weekend of play.

College Recap - NWC: Whitworth men claim title, women in virtual 3-way tie

The two conference leaders Whitworth and Linfield won their opening games Saturday but slipped up on Sunday, allowing Puget Sound to virtually pull even a point back with a game in hand. The final week will see a dramatic finish with the Pirates playing UPS Wednesday and Linfield Saturday. After suffering their first loss of the season in overtime Saturday, the Whitworth Pirates rebounded Sunday to claim their seventh NWC title in the last nine years – the eighth under 17-year coach Sean Bushey.

College Recap - WCC & PAC-12: Rough week for Gonzaga, WSU sweeps Oregon duo

The Gonzaga women wrapped up their final homestand with a split, blanking Loyola Marymount and falling narrowly to Pepperdine. The Bulldog men were winless on their trip to California. Washington State heads into the state derby on the heels of a pair of victories over their Oregon neighbors.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

College Recap - WAC & MWC: Idaho and Boise State playoff bound

It came down to the final game in the WAC, but the Vandals snared the final berth in the conference tournament Sunday with a victory against New Mexico after a difficult loss Friday to one of the conference leaders. Seattle University, meanwhile, clinched their berth Friday before falling to the same Denver team on Sunday, entering the tournament with the fifth seed. Meanwhile in the MWC, San Diego State finished the conference campaign with a perfect 7-0-0 record with a victory while Boise State finished tied for second with New Mexico after a win over Nevada, but will be the third seed in the conference playoffs due to a loss to the Lobos during the season.

College Recap - GNAC: Simon Fraser win men's title; MSU-Billings women make playoffs

With Western Washington and Seattle Pacific running away with the top two seeds in the women's table, the weekend was primarily about determining the final two participants. Saint Martin’s draw on Friday put MSU-Billings into the playoffs and their draw Saturday allowed Western Oregon to claim the final spot. The two leaders squared off in a potential championship match preview and nearly played to a stalemate. With a commanding advantage in the table, Simon Fraser locked up a third consecutive men's conference title with a 7-1 drubbing of Saint Martin’s Thursday and a loss later that evening by Seattle Pacific, sending the Canadians to the NCAA tournament in their first year of eligibility after two years of provisional status.

LD Update: Rowdies survive for NASL crown; Toronto teams win CSL titles

Tampa Bay Rowdies celebrate NASL championship | Photo: NASL
In dramatic fashion, the second-seeded Tampa Bay Rowdies rallied and survived adversity in the NASL Championship series to down the defending champion Minnesota Stars in penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw through two legs and an extra 30 minutes of series overtime.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Banana & Pineapples: Freshman duo from Shadle lead Whitworth attack

Friends since sixth grade, Bokma and Pajimola finding success together | Game photos: Gerald Barnhart
“I was able to watch them with the club system and at Shadle Park, and they were phenomenal on the field. I was like ‘man, if we could get them to come to Whitworth, we’ll be blessed indeed.’”

Always together: Pajimola and Bokma
And head coach Jael Hagerott’s Pirates have been blessed many times over this season thanks to Tiara Pajimola and Hannah Bokma, a pair of “goofball” freshman from hometown Shadle Park High School.

Pajimola tallied in the team’s opening road trip to California and has scored at a rate of a goal for every two games to lead the team. Bokma, meanwhile, started the campaign at centerback for a depleted back line before moving back up top for the conference campaign, where she has caught fire of late, scoring the game-winning goal in the last three matches. Together, the two have scored in nine of the 12 conference contests to help lead the team to a league-best 9-1-2 record matched only by Linfield.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LD Update: NASL & CSL Finals Saturday; USL Pro coaching news; USL deal in limbo after Umbro sale

Among the headlines Wednesday was the announcement from Nike that it has reached an agreement to sell Umbro to Iconix Brand Group, Inc. for $225 million, a deal expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Up in the air from the deal, however, is the future of the sponsorship agreement with United Soccer Leagues, the former longtime property of Umbro, which was purchased by Nike in 2008. Nike subsequently sold USL in 2009 amidst much controversy that, in part, precipitated the acrimonious separation of USL First Division team owners into the NASL and what is now USL Pro. A sponsorship deal, featuring the Umbro brand, between Nike and USL was included among the terms of the sale of USL to NuRock Soccer Holdings, LLC. In regards to the future of the sponsorship arrangement and whether it would continue on with Nike, Umbro or neither, USL President Tim Holt told INWsoccernews USL management was "still in the process of working through the details of this with Umbro/Nike." As of now, Umbro remains among the branding on

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week 10 Collegiate INW Best XI – Men & Women

They say defense wins championships. It was certainly the theme this week with defensive performances being key this weekend as teams make the final push for the postseason.  For games through Sunday, October 21.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

College Recap - CCC & Frontier: Lone shot of game stuns NAIA No. 1 Concordia

In the CCC, the nation's top-ranked Concordia women suffered a stunning overtime defeat at the hands of Northwest Christian on their lone shot of the match and the College of Idaho men and women had mixed results. The Great Falls men and women had busy weeks with a trip to California followed by important Frontier Conference contests with Westminster.

College Recap - NWC: Four wins for Whitworth; Linfield tops UPS-W

Whitworth remained in the hunt for a double with the women winning a pair of one-goal decisions on the weekend and the men posting big victories that allowed them to get reserve players on the field. Meanwhile, Linfield topped Puget Sound to reduce the one-loss contingent on the women's side to just two teams and Pacific Lutheran was surprised by visiting Linfield, giving the Pirates more breathing room. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

College Recap - GNAC: Lindsay lights it up for Seattle Pacific; MSUB blanks Simon Fraser

Spokane's Megan Lindsay caught fire, scoring a pair of braces on the weekend to guide Seattle Pacific to a pair of victories to keep them in the race for the regular season title with Western Washington and their record-holding goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Richland, WA). On the men's side, MSU-Billings had quite the weekend, downing Western Washington in overtime and taking Division II scoring leaders Simon Fraser all the way in a scoreless stalemate.

College Recap - WCC & PAC-12: Tough trips west for Gonzaga, Washington State

While the Gonzaga men were idle with the rest of the conference, the lady Zags as well as the Washington State women faced two tough trips to the coast, each facing a pair of nationally ranked opponents. The Cougars nearly pulled off an upset against second-ranked Stanford, but both sides returned home without a point. 

College Recap - MWC & WAC: Boise State playoff bound, Idaho near

It could be a good year for soccer in the state of Idaho. With Idaho State having won a share of the Big Sky tournament and Boise State heading to the Mountain West tournament (see below), the Idaho Vandals can make it three for three with a good set of results at home in their final weekend of the WAC. 

College Recap - Big Sky: Idaho State, Montana share title with Portland State

Idaho State and Montana advanced to Big Sky tournament, could face each other for title | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The conference campaign wrapped up with two of the three INW teams, Idaho State and Montana, earning a share of the Big Sky Conference regular season championship along with Portland State at 6-2-1. The Bengals of ISU, picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll, finished atop the tiebreaker scenarios to earn the right to host the postseason tournament in Pocatello November 2-4.

Weber State finished fourth to round out the field, holding off contender Northern Colorado with a draw in their head-to-head showdown for the final spot Saturday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Whitworth Pirates down George Fox in doubleheader, 2-1 and 6-0

Reserves celebrate final strike; Pajimola & Grow after opener; French enjoys brace | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
Much like the day before, the Whitworth Pirates controlled the play in both contests Sunday. Despite another dominant performance, the ladies again earned a narrow one-goal decision over George Fox with a 2-1 victory on a third straight winner from Hannah Bokma while the men cruised to a big lead, and for the second consecutive day finished the match off with reserves on the field as they battered the Bruins in a 6-0 romp.

LD Update: Minnesota takes 2-0 lead in NASL Championship

After a season in which they struggled against Tampa Bay, the Minnesota Stars yet again picked up a win in the postseason, snaring a two-goal lead halfway through the NASL championship series.

Amani Walker broke a stalemate highlighted by outstanding play of both goalkeepers in the 67th minute when he finally beat Jeff Attinella with a one-timer off a square ball from Simone Bracalello that blazed its way in just under the crossbar.

The Stars picked up what could be a crucial insurance tally in stoppage time when Connor Tobin redirected a Bracalello cross toward goal that Martin Nunez guided over the line. - MORE

USL News: It is being reported that Orlando City's John Rooney has been offered a deal with Barnsley... Former USL-2 star Herculez Gomez was featured in the USMNT pregame by Julie Foudy (video)... The Vancouver Whitecaps Residency PDL team has appointed Gordon Forrest as the team's head coach

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whitworth Pirates sweep Pacific-U in doubleheader, stay in title hunts

Bokma tackled after winner; French lifted in celebration of goal | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The Whitworth women (8-1-2) posted another dramatic one-goal decision, topping the visiting Pacific University Boxers on a Hannah Bokma header in overtime while the men (11-0-3) got off to a quick start and held on for a 3-1 victory on a cold and blustery afternoon Saturday with goals from three different players.

The ladies remain part of a trio with Linfield and the University of Puget Sound that have only one loss in conference play heading into the final few games of the season. The men remain alone in first with Pacific Lutheran lurking with striking distance in second.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Idaho Vandal soccer headed to Big Sky in 2014-15

In an announcement that has been expected for a few months, the University of Idaho confirmed Friday that it has officially accepted an invitation from and will join the Big Sky Conference for non-football athletics, beginning with the 2014-15 season.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

LD Update: NASL Championship Preview; NASL MVP; MISL signings

The defending NASL champion Minnesota Stars are on the cusp of repeating, duplicating last year's surprise run from the position as the sixth and final seed to winners of the Soccer Bowl. Standing in the way are the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who have will be looking to avenge last year's surprising postseason defeat after an unbeaten season series against the Stars.

The Rowdies come into the two-game series with a  4-1-3 advantage in the regular season, but in the lone postseason meeting the Stars were victorious, 1-0, in the opening round contest a year ago courtesy of a deflected free kick from Luke Mulholland in the 27th minute.

Time has a way of changing things though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week 9 Collegiate INW Best XI – Men & Women

Goalkeepers did well again this week, but picking up the Player of the Week honors was a defender who scored from midfield and a striker that dominated on the road. For games through Sunday, October 14.

Monday, October 15, 2012

INW Collegiate Recap - CCC & Frontier: Yotes struggle, Westminster prevails vs RMC

 It was a tough week for the College of Idaho. The Coyote women dropped a narrow one-goal decision to unbeaten Concordia before posting a big win, but the men suffered a pair on 1-0 defeats. In the Frontier Conference, Westminster got a good split with Rocky Mountain, winning men's contest and playing to a draw in the women's.

INW Collegiate Recap - NWC: Whitworth teams unbeaten on trip west

Though they only scored one goal each, the Whitworth Pirates were unbeaten on the weekend. At Puget Sound Saturday the men played to another scoreless draw while the women, who played to a 1-1 draw at home with Whitman Wednesday, took the day off with no referees to officiate the match. On Sunday both sides snared 1-0 victories at Pacific Lutheran.

INW Collegiate Recap - GNAC: Stalemate for Northwest Nazarene, Seattle Pacific men

MSU-Billings remains in the top three on the women's side after a split on the weekend that included a 3-0 loss to second-place Seattle Pacific, who are led by Megan Lindsay (Spokane, WA). Meanwhile, Jamie Arthurs (Richland, WA) continues to dominate, keeping Western Washington in first. On the men's side, the trio of Simon Fraser, unbeaten Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific are running away from the pack. NNU and SPU battled to a draw.

LD Update: Minnesota, Tampa Bay reach NASL Final; CSL playoffs begin

For the second consecutive year, the bottom-seed (6) Minnesota Stars eliminated the regular season champions to advance to the North American Soccer League's championship series. This time the reigning league title holders knocked off the expansion San Antonio Scorpions for the right to defend their title over the next two weekends against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The second-seeded side from Florida played a wild six-goal draw at home, advancing to the final series courtesy of their road victory in the first leg against the Carolina RailHawks, the side Minnesota dumped from the postseason at the same point a year ago.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

INW Collegiate Recap - WCC & Pac-12: GU ladies alter history with Portland; WSU drubs USC

Though they did not get a win this weekend, the Gonzaga women made a little history, registering their first-ever point against Portland after losing all 20 previous contests between the two sides. The men, meanwhile, fell at home to Saint Mary's on narrowly on the road to Santa Clara. Washington State dominated USC, 4-0, to remain in the top half of the conference table.  

INW Collegiate Recap - MWC & WAC: Boise State wins two on the road; Vandals split

The two Idaho schools performed well, picking up wins in three of their four matches. Despite being on the road, Boise State crawled out of their winless hole to put themselves in the picture for the Mountain West playoffs in a wide open table. The Idaho Vandals, meanwhile, earned their first conference win against mid-table San Jose State before falling to league-leading Utah State in a pair of home contests.

INW Collegiate Recap - Big Sky: Montana and Idaho State show strength on road

It was a good weekend for the road teams as the visiting teams went 6-1-2 away from home. Montana dominated, with two goals and an assist from Erin Craig, and Idaho State picked up a pair of victories on the west coast at Portland State and Sacramento State, becoming the first team in the conference to win consecutive games on the road.

CC Spokane Bigfoot stomp on Bellevue, 4-1 and 3-0

A pair of three-goal victories gave the Bigfoot plenty to celebrate | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The Sasquatch looked more like Swiftfoot Saturday afternoon as they flew past the visiting Bellevue College Bulldogs at the Spokane Falls CC Stadium. After trailing from an early strike, the ladies rebounded with three quick goals in the second half en route to a 4-1 victory while the men used an early goal from midfield two minutes in to take command in a 3-0 win.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

LD Update: Ottawa stadium approval; MISL signings; USL trials set

A wide variety of items for the debut on INWsoccernews of the Lower Division Update, one of the leading features of the sister-site The Soccer Barn, which is being phased out. The LD Update is a regular feature recapping the news from around North America regarding lower division professional soccer, the elite national amateur leagues and the professional indoor game.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Montana roars past Eastern Washington 4-0

Wheeler (L) created the first of two scored by Craig (middle, R) | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
Erin Craig led a dominant performance from the Montana Grizzlies Friday afternoon as the visitors rolled to a 4-0 victory against the Eagles, who were playing their home finale for the season at Eastern Washington University.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gonzaga women nab first-ever point versus Portland in 1-1 draw

Luke (18) and Cameli (2) exchanged late strikes in dramatic contest Thursday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
Zero for 20. That was the past the ladies of Gonzaga took into Thursday’s contest with the storied University of Portland Pilots. And after Kaila Cameli’s 70th minute strike on a breakaway put the visitors on top in what had been an even game, it looked like the streak would continue. But with eight minutes left, freshman Lauren Luke altered history for the Bulldogs.

Week 8 Collegiate INW Best XI – Men & Women

It was quite a week for goalkeepers on the women’s side with four players making the list with standout performances, including one setting a career school and conference record and another impressing in her debut. For games through Sunday, October 7.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No winner in Whitman-Whitworth women’s showdown

Merlino (L) finally found the goal for Whitman, who cut off the Pirates all game | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
Twenty-seven seconds. The Whitworth women found a goal against the run of play in the second half of a stalemate with Whitman, but a lapse immediately after the Tiara Pajimola strike allowed the visitors to finally find the back of the net after outshooting the Pirates the entire game by a count of 23-7 as they earned a 1-1 draw in Spokane.

Monday, October 8, 2012

INW Collegiate Recap: Lower division scan of GNAC, NWC, CCC & Frontier

Around the lower levels of the college game, close contests seemed to be the theme of the week, particularly in the Northwest Conference where six of the eight women's matches went to extra time. The Whitworth women suffered their first conference loss in one of the overtime contest while on the men's side the Pirates kept their unbeaten status intact with an overtime winner. Other highlights on the weekend featured Carroll College earning a scoreless draw against 10th-ranked CSU-San Marcos only to be downed for the first time by conference foe Westminster two days later.

INW Collegiate Recap: Close contests for WSU, Gonzaga in PAC-12, WCC

It was a week of close contests in the West Coast Conference. Six of the seven matches were decided by one goal, including three that finished in overtime. Gonzaga came up on the short side of one overtime match, falling at Loyola Marymount, and was on the wrong side of the game decided by two goals, dropping its match in San Diego. Two games into the conference portion of the campaign, only Santa Clara and Portland remain unbeaten.

The women’s side of the WCC was just as competitive over the weekend with all four conference games and a non-conference contest being decided by a goal or less, including the overtime loss Gonzaga suffered at home versus Saint Mary’s. Portland, which has yet to open conference play, fell narrowly to 10th-ranked San Diego State of the MWC.

In the Pac-12, A goal directly off a corner kick was the only thing keeping Washington State from two shutout performances on the weekend at home against the two schools from Arizona. The loss to the Sun Devils keeps the Cougars mid-table with Stanford, UCLA and California leaping out to commanding leads just five games into the conference campaign.

INW Collegiate Recap: Idaho, Boise State fall in WAC & MWC play

Early into the conference campaign Utah State and Seattle are among the four unbeaten teams and sit atop the WAC table. The Idaho Vandals, however, are at the other end of things coming off a big loss in Seattle over the weekend, leaving them without a conference win through three games. Though the conference campaign is only two games in, Boise State finds itself at the bottom of the table along with Air Force, which has also lost both games. San Diego State, whom the Broncos nearly posted a positive result with this weekend, is the conferences only ranked side and at 11-1-1 overall shoulders above its peers, which include three other unbeaten in conference play.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

INW Collegiate Recap: Eastern Washington, Montana in hunt in wide open conference

A rough weekend on the road for Northern Colorado, who narrowly fell in Montana and finished scoreless at Eastern Washington, opened the door for Portland State and Sacramento State, who each posted a big win and a scoreless draw on the road to create a group of three at the top of the conference table with one loss on the season. The conference, though, is still wide open as Northern Arizona still only has one loss, and four others have only suffered two defeats. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Around the Rankings – October 2

DI MENNSCAA: None… Soccer America: None... TopDrawSoccer: Oregon State remains at 26… Washington up three spots to 29.
DI WOMENNSCAA: Oregon State dropped from 23 back to the RV list… Portland remained on the RV list… Soccer America: None... TopDrawSoccer: Oregon State remains at 25… Portland down two spots to 26… Washington up two spots to 36.

DII MENNSCAA: Seattle Pacific drops to the second tier, dropping nine spots to 12, for the first time since the preseason poll.
DII WOMENNSCAA: MSU-Billings returned to the RV list after sitting at 23 last week.

DIII MENNSCAA: Whitworth remains at 11 for third straight week… Puget Sound drops from 21 to RV list… Whitworth moves up one spot to 11… Puget Sound remains on RV list
DIII WOMENNSCAA: Puget Sound dropped off the RV list… Linfield remains on the RV list… Puget Sound drops off the RV list

NAIA MENPoll: Concordia moves up four spots to 21… Rocky Mountain remains on RV list. MRPI: Next edition end of month.
NAIA WOMENPoll: Concordia remains in the top spot for fourth week… Carroll moves up two spots to 22… Rocky Mountain and Southern Oregon remain on RV list… MRPI: Next edition end of month.

The Polls:  NSCAA  |   Soccer America M & W  |  Top Drawer Soccer M & W  |

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 7 Collegiate INW Best XI – Men & Women

For games through Sunday, September 30. Vote for the men’s and women’s Player of the Week on the INW Facebook page. If you Like the INW page, the vote counts double. Deadline is Thursday, 1:00 pm PT.

INW Collegiate Recap: Round-up of Saturday and Sunday action

A recap from action featuring Inland Northwest schools and their conferences for play on Saturday and Sunday. It was a great weekend for the lower division schools as Whitworth's men and women went unbeaten as well as Northwest Nazarene's two teams.