Saturday, July 18, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - July 17

Brady Ulen celebrates Shadow winner versus Wenatchee
Down to two.

The week started early with league-leading South Sound showing they were not going to just lay down for the Shadow, who had grabbed control in the title race the previous weekend. The Shock downed Vancouver Wednesday in a game that narrowed the title contenders realistically down to two sides. The weekend action, though, featured some surprise outcomes, the most notable being South Sound dropping points against Bellingham, which was previously pointless.

The week's results leave just South Sound and Spokane in contention for the title. The defending champion Shadow, trailing currently by two, only need five points from their final three games, two of which are on the road this week. The Shock, meanwhile, are idle in league play this week before wrapping things up at Wenatchee.


Wednesday, July 8

Vancouver Victory 0 :: 1 South Sound

The Shock grabbed a narrow win with a free kick in the second half, delivering a severe blow to Vancouver's hopes of staying in the title chase. Despite starting an 18-year in goal, the Shock go the shutout from Evan Munn, the team's fourth of the year. Vancouver hit the crossbar in the 50th, a miss that would prove critical with Daniel Gray finding the back of the net on a long free kick six minutes later.

Scoring Summary - SS: Daniel Gray 56
Goalkeepers - SS: Evan Munn;  VAN: NA
Location - McKenzie Stadium (Vancouver); Attendance: 235

Saturday, July 11

Bellingham United 2 :: 2 South Sound  

In an early afternoon contest, the Hammers delivered one of the most surprising results of the season. Though they had scored first on several occasions this season, they had lost by at least two goals in every match prior to a 3-2 defeat against Olympic the previous weekend in which they led by two. This time, Bellingham provided a bit of the dramatic with Kyle Witzel scoring in the final minute of the first half and in the final seconds of stoppage time at the end of the match to earn the draw. The Shock felt robbed of a goal that 21 minutes in on a ball that was judged not to have crossed the line, but eventually got on the board in the 43rd when ball from Cody Guthrie was nodded in by Micah Wenzel. South Sound scored late in the second half as well when Isidro Prado-Huerta netted on a cross from Brandon Madsen with nine minutes left.

Scoring Summary - BEL: Kyle Witzel 45, Witzel 90+; SS: Micah Wenzel (Cody Guthrie) 43, Isidro Prado-Huerta (Brandon Madsen) 81
Goalkeepers - BEL: NA;  SS: Chris Kintz
Location - Harry Lang Stadium (Lakewood); Attendance: 103

Yonatan Rodriguez
Seattle Stars 0 :: 1 Yakima United  

The Hoppers halted their six-game winless run (0-4-2) and stopped the Stars' three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2) by wrapping up their home slate in a positive fashion. Willie Pineda tallied the deciding goal 16 minutes into the contest on a ball from Andres Ruiz. Jacob Rhoads recorded his first shutout of the season for Yakima.

Scoring Summary - YAK: Willie Pineda (Andres Ruiz) 16
Goalkeepers - SEA: Scott Barnum;  YAK: Jacob Rhoads
Location - Marquette Stadium (Yakima); Attendance: NA

Wenatchee FC 1 :: 2 Spokane Shadow

The hosts had the better of play, but for the second time this season it was the Capitals taking the initial advantage when a ball out of midfield from league-leading scorer Eleazar Galvan put Yonatan Rodriguez out onto the left side with a bit of space. Rodriguez used the opening to put a ball past the defender and just inside the far post to take the lead 24 minutes in.

Chance Bukoski & Anthony Mota
The Shadow kept up the offensive pressure, though, and tied things up in the 35th when Chance Bukoski converted a penalty after being taken down in the box. The hosts jumped on Wenatchee quickly in the second half with Brady Ulen finishing off the rebound of a Dustin Ferger free kick six minutes into the period. Things would ultimately heat up as the Shadow defended the lead and late entry Kyle Higgins paid the price with a pair of quick cautions that left Spokane with 10 for the final six minutes and change.

Scoring Summary - WEN: Yonatan Rodriguez (Eleazar Galvan) 24; SPO: Chance Bukoski (pen) 35, Brady Ulen 51
Goalkeepers - WEN: Mauricio Sanchez;  SPO: Tony Watters
Location - Spokane Falls CC (Spokane); Attendance: 226

Sunday, July 12

Olympic Force 1 :: 0 Vancouver Victory  

The Victory could not end the skid, failing to win for the sixth game in a row (0-5-1) since starting out with seven wins. This time all the visitors would need was a goal from Leo Potts on a ball from Zach Hansen in the 35th minute. From there Guilherme Atanes kept Vancouver off the board to give the Force their first clean sheet of the year. The result knocked Vancouver out of the title chase.

Scoring Summary - OLY: Leo Potts (Zach Hansen) 35
Goalkeepers - OLY: Guilherme Atanes;  VAN: NA
Location - McKenzie Stadium (Vancouver); Attendance: NA


Zack Hamer
Guilherme Atanes (Olympic Force) :: Helped guide the Force to their first shutout of the year, edging Vancouver on the road 1-0.

Zack Hamer (Spokane Shadow) :: The midfielder played a significant role throughout the night on both sides of the ball, creating many of the team's opportunities in the attack.

Kyle Witzel (Bellingham United) :: Scored a pair of equalizers in 2-2 draw at South Sound to give the Hammers their first point of the season.


Saturday, July 18

Spokane Shadow @ Seattle Stars - 3:00

In the second game of their season, the Shadow slipped up in a 1-1 draw against the Stars, who started off well at 2-1-1. Seattle's good form dipped, though, with three consecutive losses before rebounding of late with a 1-1-2 run in their last four. Spokane, meanwhile, lost their next match against Vancouver before running off the last eight unbeaten (7-0-1).

Wenatchee FC @ Bellingham United - 3:00

The Capitals are looking to secure their spot at number four in the table and make strides toward catching Vancouver, which is idle this week. Two more wins coupled with a Vancouver loss to Yakima would give Wenatchee the surprise finish. The Capitals defeated Bellingham 3-1 in early June, but lost twice a year ago 5-2 and 4-2.

Sunday, July 19

Spokane Shadow @ Bellingham United - 7:00

Both sides go into the meeting have played the night before. In their earlier meeting, Spokane rallied for a 4-1 win at home against the Hammers. Last year Bellingham handed the Shadow one of their two losses on the season, 2-1, in their season and home opener, but fell back at home 2-0.

Seattle Stars @ Olympic Force - 7:00

After playing at home the day before, the Stars cross the sound to face the Force. Seattle lost the first meeting in May, 2-1, in what was the new club's first-ever EPLWA victory.


Saturday, July 25
Olympic Force @ Spokane Shadow - 7:00
Sunday, July 26
Yakima United @ Vancouver Victory - 2:00
Seattle Stars @ Bellingham United - 3:00
South Sound @ Wenatchee - 6:00

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