WISL Semis feature intriguing rematches

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Back at it again: This weekend’s WISL Semifinal is a rematch of last year’s final between the Tacoma Stars and Bellingham United. (Wilson Tsoi)

TACOMA, WA— The 2015-16 Western Indoor Soccer League season semifinals are set to go this Saturday night February 20th in Bellingham and Bremerton. The two matchups are interesting on many levels.

FINAL 2015-16 WISL Regular Season Table

Club Points Wins Losses Ties GF GA Goal + / –
BELLINGHAM UNITED  #1
27 9 1 0 92 47 +45
OLYMPIC FORCE #2  27 9 1 0 89 52 +37
SPORTING EVERETT #3
15 5 5 0 68 72 -7
TACOMA RESERVES #4 13 4 5 1 55 52 +3
SNOHOMISH SKYHAWKS 12 4 6 0 42 54 -22
OLY TOWN FC 7 2 7 1 54 78 -24
VANCOUVER VICTORY 3 1 9 0 48 80 -32

Top 4 clubs make the playoffs. #=playoff seed.

#1 Bellingham United v. #4 Tacoma Stars Reserves @ Bellingham Sportsplex, 7:30 PM

hammersBellingham United (9-1-0) finished first in the regular season by doing something they had never done before in the WISL – beat the Tacoma Stars Reserves (4-5-1). This rematch comes just one week after Tacoma travelled up to Bellingham and were handed an 8-6 defeat by the Hammers. Previously this rivalry had been one-sided. stars-reserveslogo-2Tacoma swept two close regular season matches last year, then beat BUFC 6-2 to win the WISL Final. This season Tacoma gave Bellingham their only loss. So beating the Stars was a big deal for the Hammers. Now with a spiffy 9-1-0 record and home pitch advantage for as far as they can go, the Hammers are hoping they can make it two in a row over the Stars.

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Brenda Quilici, far left, coaches the Hammers and led them in goals this season with 16. (Wilson Tsoi)

This season: Tacoma-7 Bellingham-5, Bellingham-8 Tacoma-6.

History: This rivalry goes back to the PASL days when the Stars and their counterparts the South Sound Shock would play the boys of Bellingham when they were called the WSA Rapids.

Key players: Tacoma will rely on the experience and scoring prowess of Nate Ford, who led the Stars Reserves with 15 goals. Tyler John is another target. He scored 9. The Hammers have multiple weapons in Brendan Quilici (16 goals), Richard Henderson (15) and Oscar Jimenz (10.) The Hammers can turn to Riley Liddle or Mark Pollack in goal. The Stars have veteran Chris Kintz and Linden Fisher.

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Corey Hendrickson, left, was the leading goal scorer for Sporting Everett this season.

#2 Olympic Force v. #3 Sporting Everett FC @ Olympic Sports Center, 7:30 PM

OSC - Sheild - Force (PNG) - 600It’s a twist of fate that the Olympic Force are also matched up against the last team they played in the regular season. On February 6th the Force beat Sporting 13-4 in Bremerton. Olympic then had a bye while Sporting travelled to Vancouver and clinched a playoff spot with an everett-logo11-2 win. Now the two sides are trekking into familiar territory. Last year the PASL NW Division championship match was played at the Olympic Sports Center and featured the Force against Seattle Sporting. Seattle took on the name “Everett” as they moved to the WISL, but the rivalry remains.

So how did that previous playoff match go? The PASL winners were the Olympic Force, 5-1 over Sporting.

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Gus Bermudez led the Force – and all of the WISL – with 21 goals. (Michael Landon)

This season: Olympic-8 Sporting-7, Olympic-13 Sporting-4

History: The two played in the 2014-15 PASL NW Final. Some of the former Kitsap Pumas on the Force are familiar with some of the Sporting players who suited up for other Snohomish county indoor clubs over the years.

Key players: The Force’s top two scorers combined for 34 goals. Gus Bermudez had 21 and Enrique Hidalgo had 13. Olympic also has the most players who have scored on a single team this season. 19 different Olympic players have goals. Sporting’s top four combined for 36 goals, including 10 from Corey Hendrickson and 9 each from Jordan Correa and Mark Conrad. The Force can turn to David Meherg or Marshall Reese in goal. Sporting Everett features tall, agile indoor veteran Jeff Renslo.

FEB20-SEMIS

 

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