The last weekend of the regular season is upon us, with one playoff spot still available. Here are the playoff scenarios going into week 10…
Snohomish Skyhawks: Clinches #3 seed with a win. Takes #4 with a loss
Oly-Pen Force: Clinches #3 seed with a win or a draw and a Snohomish loss. Clinches #4 seed with win or a draw and a Snohomish win. Season ends with a loss.
Tacoma Narrows FC: Clinches #3 seed with a win and a Snohomish loss. Clinches #4 seed with a win and a Snohomish win. Season ends with a loss or a draw.
OLY-PEN FORCE vs. TACOMA NARROWS FC
Saturday, February 2 – 7:30 – Oly-Pen Sports Center
Promotion: Military Appreciation Night
The Oly-Pen Force and Tacoma Narrows FC play what is essentially a playoff game in their regular season finale. The winner goes to the playoffs while the loser’s season comes to an end. The Force can also advance to the playoffs with a draw.
The two teams met early in the season with Narrows FC taking a 9-7 victory at the Tacoma Soccer Center. Jeremy Maldonado scored twice for Narrows while David Meherg added a pair of goals for the Force. The win moved Narrows to 2-0-0 while the Force dropped to 0-3-0. After that, Narrows went 1-6-0 while the Force fought back to go 3-2-1 over their last six games.
The Force are the third highest scoring team in the WISL (68 goals) with Meherg leading the way with 11 goals. Last year’s Golden Boot winner, Alex Hernandez, trails him with 10. But the Force have given up the second most goals (71). Meanwhile, Narrows has scored the second least goals (42) and have given up the third most goals (65), despite posting just the second shutout in WISL history. Maldonado and JC Henson leads Tacoma with eight goals.
SNOHOMISH SKYHAWKS vs. TACOMA STARS RESERVES
Saturday, February 2 – 7:00 – Snohomish Soccer Dome
Both Snohomish and the Stars Reserves have both clinched a spot in the WISL playoffs, but both are still fighting for more. The Skyhawks need a win to secure the #3 seed, which would send them to Bellingham, while a loss would drop them to the #4 seed and another matchup against the Stars Reserves, no matter what happens in Bremerton. Meanwhile, the Stars Reserves are looking for an undefeated regular season.
It was a defensive battle for the first 30 minutes in the first meeting between the Skyhawks and the Stars Reserves. Tacoma held a 2-0 lead at the half but then extended their lead to 5-0 in the third quarter before Devin Shull scored the Skyhawks only goal of the game. Tyler John scored twice as seven different Tacoma players scored in the game. Logan Jones earned Defensive Player Of The Week for helping hold Snohomish to just the one goal.
The Stars Reserves are 9-0-0 and have scored the most goals (83) and given up the least goals (24) for a +59 goal differential, far and away the largest goal differential in league history. Danny Minniti and JJ Schmeck lead the team with 10 goals and 18 different Stars have scored. Mike Arguello has started eight of their nine games in goal.
Devin Shull leads the Skyhawks and is tied for second in the WISL with 12 goals scored and John Troka trails him with seven. Trevor Davoren has started every game since taking over for an injured Craig Otto in the season opener and earned on Defensive POTW award.
OLY TOWN ARTESIANS vs. BELLINGHAM UNITED
Saturday, February 2 – 6:30 – The Pavilion at TESC
Promotion: Fan Appreciation Night/2010s Night
There is nothing on the line in Olympia when Bellingham visits the Artesians, other than pride. The Artesians have struggled mightily and are looking to pull off a major upset for their first win while the Hammers are looking to get tuned up and add one more win to their resume heading into the playoffs.
Bellingham knocked off Oly Town at the Sportsplex 14-7 in early December. Richard Henderson went off for five goals and Christian Caro and Kenny Parker each added two for the Hammers. Collin Tate and TJ O’Connor each scored twice for the Artesians.
United is 7-2-0 and has been dominant against any team not named the Stars Reserves, scoring 10 goals per game against the bottom four teams. Henderson leads the league with 16 goals and Uriel Herrera trails him and is tied for second with 12 goals. The Hammers have earned a POTW award five times – Richard Henderson twice, Jared Davis, Riley Liddle and Connor Moe.
The Artesians are 0-8-1 this season and have scored a league low 40 goals and given up a league high 97 goals. Tate leads them with eight goals and Chris Pugh trails him seven. Despite scoring a league low 40 goals, Eli Boatright and Pugh have each been named Offensive Player Of The Week once this season.