Sunday, September 14, 2014

CC Spokane splits versus Lane, South Puget Sound Saturday

Both Sasquatch squads put in dominant performances, but ended up differently | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The CC Spokane Bigfoot ladies saw their impressive home unbeaten streak on the three-year old renovated field come to an end Saturday at Spokane Falls CC Stadium as they were upset by the visiting Lane Titans, suffering their first league loss this season in the process as well. In the second half of the doubleheader the men cruised to a 3-0 victory over South Puget Sound.

WOMEN - Lane CC 2-1 CC Spokane 

The Titans jumped on top 16 minutes into the contest with Taylor Boyer winning a one-on-one battle and beating goalkeeper Samantha Burmester. Hanna Sanders brought things level for the Sasquatch six minutes before the break on a ball from Sydni Thomas.

"They did everything right; they put a lot of bodies in the middle," said CC Spokane head coach Jim Martinson. "We're good; our strength is our three midfielders can move the ball really well, and they disrupted that. We didn't necessarily do anything wrong. They just did everything right and just caused us problems in the middle of the field. We gave up a goal, just really poor one-on-one defending."

At the half, the Bigfoot worked on a way to bypass the clogged midfield. They did that well with many chances throughout the half, but a penalty converted by Anna Goodrie two minutes in made every near miss that much more frustrating.

"We made an adjustment. We just tried to keep the ball mostly out of the midfield, just because we really didn't have any time to play with it. So, we went over the top a little bit, tried to push bodies forward. We had our chances, but we just didn't finish. Credit to Lane; they did a good job disrupting things - just sit back and counter, and they did that. Give up the pk and that's that."

Nearly a half-hour into the second half the Bigfoot thought they had pulled even when a shot from the top of the box by Serena Robertson caromed off the crossbar and directly down to the line, but the officials continued with play, ruling no goal.

"I'd like to see the film on that," Martinson said after the game. "I don't know if that went in or not, but it sure looked like it did. Nothing we can do about that now."  --  Editor's note: According to video, it does appear the ball may have crossed the line.

Women's Photo Gallery [+]
With plenty of possession in the offensive end throughout much of the half, the Bigfoot had numerous looks in addition to the debated crossbar moment. Two came in the final minutes of the contest.

In the 87th minute defender Kassie Torres played a ball over the top from midfield that allowed Rashelle Fisher to run onto, shooting from an angle on the right from about 15 yards out just over the goal.

Fisher had another bite at the apple for an equalizer two minutes into stoppage time on a similar ball directly up the middle. She narrowly beat the keeper to the ball 12 yards out but knocked it high once again.

The result put Spokane at 4-1-0 in league play, 7-2-0 overall. They are tied with Treasure Valley, who continue to put forth a rare impressive start to the season as the division seems to be experiencing a shift in powers with Walla Walla working through a coaching change and the addition of North Idaho College.

"Walla Walla is down; NIC is tying a lot of teams and staying in games, but not beating up on teams yet so we'll see what happens. Still got to face them both," Martinson said of how things have started in the East Division. "Treasure Valley was tough. They've got speed in the back, and speed up front. It made a difference down there. They'll make a run at the playoffs, I think, this year."

Men's Photo Gallery [+] 
MEN - South Puget Sound CC 0-3 CC Spokane 

The Bigfoot men jumped all over the winless Clippers right from the opening whistle as they worked to move to 5-0-0 in league and 7-2-0 overall.

Just two minutes in Peter Sokolis sent a warning shot, hitting a long effort on the bounce from about 28 yards narrowly over the bar.

Two minutes later, though, they grabbed the lead. Driving up the middle, Devin Leon dished it right to Alex Opland, whose low effort from about 16 yards found its way inside the far left post just out of the diving goalkeeper's reach.

SPS nearly tied it up in the 23rd with a nice curling 40-yard shot that made its way through a couple players and swerved back toward the left post, but Damian Ruiz dove to make the stop.

Three minutes later the Sasquatch doubled the lead. A long throw from Sokolis 12 yards up the line was launched into the box where several players went up for it. The ball wound up being headed up over the keeper by one of the visitors, dropping down inside the far left side netting as an own goal.

Two minutes later Robert Kissinger-Smith nearly made it three. He drove up the left side and from the top of the box smacked a shot off the bottom of the left post.

Four minutes before the break it looked like the visitors were going to certainly get on the board and make it a game. A ball put Marco Lucero on a run behind the defense, but Ruiz did an excellent job coming out to close down the angle, forcing him to send his shot wide of the far left post from about 17 yards.

The second half was more of the same with the hosts peppering the visitors with shots in the opening minutes. A minute in Leon connected with Opland, who turned and fired from about 16 yards out. Alan Caro made the save, and then came up big again less than a minute later when Leon got in behind the defense and ripped a shot from about 11 yards that he parried wide.

In the 53rd minute Sokolis missed wide from about 25 yards and in the 63rd a free kick from just outside the right side of the box was headed narrowly wide by  defender Brandon Babinski from about eight yards in front of the far post.

"Playing back-to-back games sometimes it'll take it out of you. I really wanted them to push in the second half, push the tempo," said CC Spokane men's head coach Kenny Krestian. "We had two good opportunities early in the second half, but just couldn't finish. The guys are really doing things right right now, so its now about not being as concerned at what the other teams are doing as opposed to what are we doing; how are we gonna get ourselves better. How are we going to dictate play and finish matches off."

Leon had another chance with nine minutes left, going on a run around the defense to the left side before striking a shot from about eight yards that was saved, rebounding out to Mario Zarate, whose shot off the bounce went over.

A minute later, though, Opland capped the game when he received the ball from Ben Atkinson at the top of the box, quickly turned and fired it past the keeper from 19 yards.

"Alex been a good surprise for us up top. We played him out wide last year; and for us this year, we needed that presence - a strong body up top to hold balls. He's found a way to finish his chances off very well this year. Opened himself, got turned and just decided he was gonna strike it. His confidence is growing every match he's played."