LAKEWOOD, WA—The South Sound FC Shock topped Vancouver Victory FC 2-1 on Wednesday night June 24 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood to take over first place in the Evergreen Premier League table on 23 points.
|EVERGREEN PREMIER LEAGUE – 2015 (Through June 24)||Pts||GP||W||L||T||GF||GA||GD|
|SOUTH SOUND FC||23||10||7||1||2||31||14||+17|
|VANCOUVER VICTORY FC||22||10||7||2||1||28||10||+18|
|YAKIMA UNITED FC||11||10||3||5||2||23||25||-2|
|SEATTLE STARS FC||11||9||3||4||2||16||21||-5|
|BELLINGHAM UNITED FC||0||9||0||9||0||8||35||-27|
The same three clubs as last season are moving to the final portion of the race for the championship. It’s V2FC, South Sound and the Spokane Shadow once again coming down to the wire. The Shock threw the race wide open with two first half goals and sturdy second half defense to keep the Victory in a bit of a tailspin. Vancouver was 7-0-0 halfway through the 14-match season. Since then they have two one-goal losses and a draw.
South Sound took a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute when Vince McCluskey assisted on a goal by JJ Schmeck. The pass came on a through ball and was blasted over the goal line into the Vancouver side netting.
The Shock doubled their advantage as halftime neared. In the 41st minute it was McCluskey doing the scoring. Schmeck was again involved as was a very active Colton Ronk. It was Schmeck to Ronk to McCluskey, who made no mistake with a one-time finish.
McCluskey is now tied for the Shock lead in goals with five (alongside Tyler John). Schmeck’s goal was his third of the season.
Vancouver adjusted at halftime and the second period was a back and forth affair with V2FC seeking the goal that would give them hope and South Sound sending dangerous counters as they looked for a knockout.
In the 71st minute the Victory got the goal that made for a final, frantic conclusion. Hometown guy Mikhail Wingate-Pearse headed home the score off of a long ball sent into the box. It was his first goal of the season.
The chase was on and both sides had chances the rest of the way. The Victory had several set plays that they couldn’t quite convert or make dangerous enough to trouble Shock goalkeeper Chris Kintz. Meanwhile Vancouver goalkeeper Jordan Farr had to stay on his toes even as he began creeping up towards the midfield in the late stages.
The result was a crucial win for the Shock, though they still don’t control their own destiny. If Vancouver wins their final four matches, all at home, then they will be EPLWA Champs. If the Victory slip, then the Spokane Shadow also have the edge over the Shock thanks to a win and draw over South Sound this year. The Shadow have six matches to play, four away and two at home.
|THE RACE IS ON… Here are the contenders’ remaining matches (Home in BOLD)|
|June 27 -Yakima United||June 27 – at Vancouver Victory||June 27 – Spokane Shadow|
|July 8 – at Vancouver Victory||June 28 – at Yakima United||July 8 – South Sound FC|
|July 11 – Bellingham United||July 11 – Wenatchee FC||July 12 – Olympic Force|
|July 26 – at Wenatchee FC||July 18 – at Seattle Stars FC||July 26 – Yakima United|
|July 19 – at Bellingham United|
|July 25 – Olympic Force|