The Tacoma Stars Reserves and the Olympic Force won their home matches in exciting fashion as the Western Indoor Soccer League moved closer to the 2017-18 playoffs. In Tacoma the Stars Reserves topped previously unbeaten Bellingham United 6-4. In Bremerton the Force outscored the Snohomish Skyhawks 11-10. All four clubs will be in the WISL playoffs which begin on February 10.
Tacoma Stars Reserves-6 Bellingham United-4
TACOMA, WA— The Tacoma Stars Reserves (5-2-0) scored two unanswered goals in the third quarter as they created space between themselves and visiting Bellingham United (6-1-0) on the way to a 6-4 win before 370 fans at the Tacoma Soccer Center.
It was a tight match in the first half. The lead went back and forth until TSR got two goals to take a 4-3 lead into the break. Uriel Herrera scored twice for the Hammers and the defending champs also got a brief go-ahead goal from Richard Henderson. Tacoma reacted with goals from Mark Lee, Mike Scharf, Micah Wenzel and Vitalie Bulala.
The third quarter saw the Stars Reserves go up 5-3 when Eddie Na was connected with a pass that was intercepted at the center circle. He calmly kicked it home. Then it was 6-3 when Nate Ford scored on the same (left) side on another calm redirection. The Hammers couldn’t get much going until they pulled to within 6-4 on a Jonathan Ruvalcaba goal late on.
Tacoma’s defense with the strong play of goalkeeper Aaron Anderson and the midfield strength provided by Adrian Correa and others kept the high-scoring Hammers in check. It ended their streak of 406 days without a loss in WISL play. The last Hammers defeat in the league came back on December 17, 2016 at Olympic Force.
Tacoma Stars Reserves Goals: Mark Lee, Mike Scharf, Micah Wenzel, Vitalie Bulala, Eddie Na, Nate Ford.
Bellingham United goals: Uriel Herrera (2), Richard Henderson, Jonathan Ruvalcaba.
Olympic Force-11 Snohomish Skyhawks-10
BREMERTON, WA— In a match featuring four of the top six scorers in the WISL you would expect goals, and this thriller delivered them for both sides.
The Force got their usual strong match from WISL leading scorer Alex Hernandez, who put in three more to bring his season total to 17. Olympic also got great play from Kevin Flavin. He also scored a hat trick and added an assist for the Force.
The Skyhawks’ duo of Paul Burgess and Tye Hastings were held to just one combined goal. Instead, other Snohomish players made the score sheet with big nights. Andrew Escalante had a hat trick and Tony Clarke and Aaron Burns scored two each for the visitors.
The Force led 3-2 after one and 7-4 at halftime. The Skyhawks rallied to make it 10-10 with just a few moments remaining. Then the Force got a winner from Leo Potts with 2:30 left before the final whistle.
Olympic Force Goals: Kevin Flavin (3), Alex Hernandez (3), Leo Potts (2), David Meherg, Brent Ricigliano, Joe Sammartino.
Snohomish Skyhawks Goals: Andrew Escalante (3), Aaron Burns (2), Tony Clarke (2), Tye Hastings, Alec Molchan, Mike Sitzman.