Saturday, May 2, 2015

EPLWA this Weekend - Week 2

The eastern trio of the Evergreen Premier League will all be in action the second week of the season as the defending champion Spokane Shadow take to the pitch for the first time. The title defense for Spokane begins Sunday in Wenatchee. Yakima United, meanwhile, is heading to Bellingham Sunday.

Spokane Shadow @ Wenatchee FC - Sunday, 6:00 - Wenatchee Valley CC 

The match marks the first meeting between eastern-based EPLWA teams this season. Last year, the Shadow swept the two-game series in a pair of historic games.

In the early-season meeting in Wenatchee, star striker Mike Ramos recorded the league’s first-ever hat-trick, scoring all three goals in Spokane’s 3-2 victory over Wenatchee.

The second meeting came in the league's last game of the year. After a dramatic season-long climb from behind to catch South Sound, the Shadow claimed the league's first championship with a 3-0 victory over visiting Wenatchee. Despite never being in first place prior to any match, Spokane finished the league's final 90 minutes of play atop the table with another big performance from Ramos. He broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half with back-to-back assists to Sam Engle in the 50th and 56th before scoring one of his own in the 66th. The result gave the Shadow the title by one point.

On Sunday, though, things will be a little different as Ramos will not be in the lineup. He and midfield general Nick Hamer have joined the professional Kitsap Pumas in the PDL. Engle, however, will be there as he serves temporary duty until he finishes up at Whitworth and Hamer's brother Zach has joined the squad.

Wenatchee is coming into the match after a 2-1 loss to Seattle the week before, but lost more than the match with two players sidelined with red cards, including goalkeeper Mauricio Sanchez. Josh Alvarez scored the consolation tally on a ball from Octavio Garcia.

Yakima United @ Bellingham United - Sunday, 3:00 - Civic Stadium 

Hector Valdovinos
Both teams come into the match looking to rebound from big home losses last week. Yakima is coming off of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Vancouver while Bellingham was stunned 5-1 by South Sound.

Last year, the pair played in two of the most lopsided games of the season with a 12-goal swing between the two games. The Hammers took the first meeting 8-2 with Tyler Bjork scoring a league-record six goals in a game.

When they met for a second time the game went the other way with the Hoppers blanking Bellingham 6-0 in a stunner.

Hector Valdovinos scored the lone goal for the Hoppers last week while Mo Marenah netted for the Hammers via Nick Cashmere.

Elsewhere in EPLWA

Vancouver Victory @ Olympic Force - Saturday
South Sound @ Seattle Stars - Sunday

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