Week 8 Preview: Force & Skyhawks Looking For Upsets, Big Opportunity for Narrows
TACOMA NARROWS FC vs. OLY TOWN ARTESIANS
Saturday, January 19 – 7:00 PM – Tacoma Soccer Center
In their first season in the WISL, Tacoma Narrows is fighting for a playoff spot and could take a huge step forward on Saturday night when they face the Oly Town Artesians at the Tacoma Soccer Center. Despite a five game losing streak, Narrows is just two points behind the third place Snohomish Skyhawks and one point behind the fourth place Oly-Pen Force. The Skyhawks and Force face the two top teams in the league this weekend while Narrows takes on the winless Artesians.
Oly Town picked up their first point in over a year and their first point ever in Snohomish on Saturday, tying the Skyhawks, 4-4, in a hard fought game. For scoring the game tying goal with 17 seconds left and adding an assist, Eli Boatright was named Offensive Player Of The Week. Goalkeeper Ryan Fakkema also had a fantastic game, keeping the contest close with numerous foot saves and killing two power plays in the third quarter. The converted defender is the fourth keeper for Oly this season, taking over for the injured Ryan Perkins and Bradley Hanson. Collin Tate leads the Artesians with seven goals.
Narrows started off hot with a 9-6 win over the Artesians in their WISL debut and then a 9-7 win over the Force. Since then, they have scored just 12 goals and have lost five straight, but four of those games were against the Stars Reserves and Bellingham United. JC Henson leads the club with six goals and Jeremy Maldonado has scored five times. Nate Salveson has made all seven starts so far for Narrows.
SNOHOMISH SKYHAWKS vs. BELLINGHAM UNITED
Saturday, January 19th – 7:00 PM – Snohomish Soccer Dome
With their 4-4 draw against the Artesians, coupled with losses by the Force and Narrows, the Skyhawks took over third place in the WISL. But the Skyhawks have the toughest road going forward, starting with a visit from second place Bellingham United on Saturday and a visit from the Stars Reserves on February 2nd.
Bellingham and the Skyhawks met in their season openers at the Sportsplex on November 17th with the Hammers taking a 9-4 victory. Jared Davis scored a hat trick for Bellingham and earned Offensive Player Of The Week and John Troka scored twice for the Skyhawks.
The Hammers are 6-1-0 this season and features the top three scorers in the league – Richard Henderson (15), Uriel Herrera (10) and Christian Caro (10). Goalkeeper Riley Liddle has made every start for the Hammers, who are second in least goals allowed this season.
The Skyhawks are led by Devin Shull’s nine goals and Troka has added seven goals. Tye Hastings, the Offensive Player Of The Week two weeks ago, has six goals. Trevor Davoren took over for an injured Craig Otto in the first game against Bellingham and has been solid in goal, earning four nominations for Defensive Player Of The Week and then finally snagging his first award this week for his efforts in their 4-4 draw against Oly Town.
OLY-PEN FORCE vs. TACOMA STARS RESERVES
Saturday, January 19 – 7:30 PM – Oly-Pen Sports Center
Promotion: Force Star Wars Night
The Stars Reserves handed the Oly-Pen Force an 8-2 loss in the season opener on November 9th, setting the Force up for their longest losing streak in club history (three games) that saw them start the season 0-3-0. Since then, the Force have gone 2-1-1 and currently sit in fourth place. But those Stars Reserves, who are allowing just 2.29 goals per game, come to town trying to hold onto sole possession of first place before their trip to Bellingham next week.
The Force are led by Luis Enrique Hidalgo’s nine goals, but he is now playing professionally in MASL2 for the Rochester Lancers. Former goalkeeper David Meherg leads the current Force squad with eight goals and Alex Hernandez has added six. The Force have spread the scoring out with 16 different players scoring goals this season. Cole Weaver has been solid in goal since taking over the reins midway through the season.
Meanwhile, the Stars Reserves are 7-0-0 and are led by Eddie Na’s nine goals. Danny Minniti and JJ Schmeck are just behind him with eight. The Stars have also spread the scoring out with 18 different players scoring. Mike Arguello has been outstanding in goal with just 17 goals allowed all season.