The Tacoma Stars bolted out to a 5-0 lead before Oly Town could answer back and kept their distance from their southern rivals in a 10-5 semifinal win on Saturday night at the Tacoma Soccer Center.
In Bellingham the Wenatchee Fire made a wild fourth quarter rally to go from 6-2 down to 6-all before the Hammers got two goals to win, 8-6.
Saturday night February 14 at 7:30 PM at the Tacoma Soccer Center the Stars and Hammers will face off for the league crown.
During the regular season the clubs played to close matches. Tacoma won 4-3 at home and 9-7 in Bellingham.
Kellan Brown, Oscar Jiminez and Nick Cashmere scored two goals each as the Hammers held off a fierce Fire fourth quarter comeback.
BUFC had built a 6-2 lead going into the last quarter, but then saw Wenatchee run off four straight goals to tie the match at 6-6. In the comeback the Fire got goals from Miguel Galvan, Adrian Espinoza, Yonatan Rodriguez and Pedro Cruz.
With just 3:15 left in a tied match Kellan Brown got his second of the night and it became the match-winner at 7-6. The Fire pulled out all the stops to get back level, but the Hammers were able to counter attack at add on an 8th score with 15 seconds left from Nick Cashmere.
Bellingham advances to the WISL Final and will return to the Tacoma Soccer Center where they started their 2014-15 season with a tight 4-3 loss to the Stars.
Stars’ leading scorer Derek Johnson got Tacoma rolling with just over 6 minutes left in the first quarter. That stirred the Stars, who banged home three more before the period was over. Cam Vickers, a second from Johnson and Joey Gjertsen helped the home side pull ahead.
Some futher breathing room was restored when Cam Vickers got his second goal of the night to make it 7-2 with 12 minutes to go. Oly Town hung tough and it was 7-3 when Aaron Burns scored for the Artesians during a power play.
The Artesians began to pressure the ball and push the match. The Stars found an opening as Oly attacked and Byron Conforti turned in a crucial goal to make it 8-3 with 4:55 left in the match. Gibson Bardsley only took half a minute to get Tacoma’s 9th.
Oly Town kept kicking to close the gap to 9-4 when Garret Lamanto scored. Tacoma’s tenth and final goal came from Kyle Danielson on a Stars power play.
Oly was out of time but not out of steam. Greg Wolfe scored the final goal of the night with 1:45 left to make it 10-5 Stars.