Week 8: Two Big Wins for WA Premier, Bellingham Clinches Playoff Spot

It was a big weekend for Washington Premier

Week 8 of the Evergreen Premier League saw the surging Washington Premier squad take over first place in the Rainier Conference while Bellingham United clinched a playoff spot with their shutout of Tri-Cities.

Read all the recaps of the week 8 action here…

Spokane Shadow 5, Oly-Pen Force 3

After not scoring at all in two games the previous weekend, the Spokane Shadow exploded for five goals in their 5-3 win over the Oly-Pen Force on Saturday at the Polo Grounds. The Shadow jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind a Hakeem Rabiu goal in the 13th, an Oly-Pen own goal in the 15th and Danny Alvarez’s strike in the 19th. They made it 4-0 when Cam Weller scored in the 38th. Just two minutes later, the Force started their comeback. Joe Sammartino scored in the 40th, Gilbert de la Luz scored in the 60th and Sammartino made it a one goal game in the 78th. But Kyle Halehale added an insurance goal in the 82nd and the Shadow knocked off the #2 team in the Cascade Conference and improved to 2-4-2 on the season.

Spokane Shadow goals: Hakeem Rabiu (’13), Oly-Pen own goal (’15), Danny Alvarez (’19), Cam Weller (’38), Kyle Halehale (’82)
Oly-Pen Force goals: Joe Sammartino (’40 & ’78), Gilbert de la Luz (’60)

Yakima United 5, Oly Town Artesians 4

In a rough and tumble game that featured six yellow cards and three red cards, Yakima United scored in second half stoppage time to pick up a big Cascade Conference win, 5-4. Missael Lopez struck in the first minute for Yakima to open the scoring, but Oly battled back and took a 3-1 lead thanks to goals by Jesus Meraz-Rodriguez, Angel Trejo-Delgado and Jason Fairhurst. Goals by Williams Pineda and Jose Marquez tied the game at 3-3 but Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez gave the Artesians a 4-3 lead in the 62nd minute. Just one minute later, Cesar Rodriguez scored the equalizer in for Yakima to make it 4-4 and after the Meraz-Rodriguez brothers and Cesar Rodriguez were ejected, the Oly defense faltered at the wrong time allowing Johnny Ramirez to score the game winner in stoppage time.

Yakima United goals: Missael Lopez (‘1), Williams Pineda (’32), Jose Marquez (’51), Cesar Rodriguez (’63), Johnny Ramirez (’90)
Oly Town Artesians goals: Jesus Meraz-Rodriguez (‘3), Angel Trejo-Delgado (’25), Jason Fairhurst (’29), Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez (’62)

Washington Premier 3, PacNW SC 1

Tyler Bjork scored again for PacNW, but it came much too late in Washington Premier’s 3-1 win. Brandon Madsen put WA Premier up 1-0 in the 18th and Eddie Na added a first half goal in the 33rd to put them up 2-0. Austin Stafford added one in the 60th minute and WA Premier held on giving up just the one goal in the 89th to Bjork. Washington Premier won their 5th game of the season and leapfrogged the two Rainier Conference leaders for first place.

Washington Premier goals: Brandon Madsen (’18), Eddie Na (’33), Austin Stafford (’60)
Pac NW SC goal: Tyler Bjork (’89)

Washington Premier 1, Vancouver Victory 0

One day after taking first place, Washington Premier extended their lead with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Victory in Vancouver. Kyle Rivers scored the lone goal, a 23rd minute strike that proved to be the game winner. Goalkeeper Tyler Luebbert allowed just that one goal for the Victory. WA Premier moved to 6-2-0 this season and now have a five point advantage in the Rainier Conference.

Washington Premier goal: Kyle Rivers (’23)
Vancouver Victory goals: None

Bellingham United 3, Tri-Cities Alliance 0

Tyler Huges, Christian Caro and Richard Henderson each scored for Bellingham United in their 3-0 win over the Tri-Cities Alliance on Sunday evening in Bellingham. Hector Gutierrez shutout the Alliance for the second time this season and United improved to 6-0-2 this season, remaining undefeated. They also clinched a playoff spot with the victory.

Bellingham United goals: Tyler Hughes (’19), Christian Caro (’46), Richard Henderson (’70)
Tri-Cities Alliance goals: None

Seattle Stars 4, Oly Town Artesians 2

The Seattle Stars exploded for four unanswered goals over the final 17 minutes to knock off the Oly Town Artesians at French Field in Kent on Sunday evening. The Stars were down 2-0 after goals by Alec Zimmerman and Collin LeBranche for Oly Town, but Steve Rogers started off the Stars run in the 73rd, Cody Buchanan equalized in the 76th, Kees Westra scored the game winner in the 85th and Buchanan added an insurance goal in the 87th to take the 4-2 victory. The win kept the Stars close to Bellingham United in the Cascade Conference and eliminated the Artesians from playoff contention.

Seattle Stars goals: Steve Rogers (’73), Cody Buchanan (’76 & ’87), Kees Westra (’85)
Oly Town Artesians goals: Alec Zimmerman (’25), Collin LeBranche (’52)

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