#1 Tacoma Stars Reserves 7, #4 Snohomish Skyhawks 2
The Snohomish Skyhawks held the Tacoma Stars Reserves to just one goal in the first half and were tied with the undefeated regular season champs at halftime, but the Stars Reserves turned it on in the second half outscoring the Skyhawks 6-1, and advanced to their second straight Western Indoor Soccer League game with a 7-2 win.
After a hard fought, scoreless first quarter, the Stars Reserves broke through after Snohomish earned a blue card for too many men on the field. Just 13 seconds into the power play, Danny Minniti gave them a 1-0 lead with 11:04 left in the second quarter.
Minniti had a hand in Snohomish’s first goal eight minutes later. Danny Graham’s shot from outside the box caught Minniti in the shoulder and the slight deflection sent it into the back of the net, tying the game. Skyhawks keeper Trevor Davoren and Stars Reserves keeper Mike Arguello both played fantastic in the first half, and the game went to the break tied 1-1.
With under two minutes gone in the second half, Eddie Na caught the Skyhawks on a shift change and found some space and gave Tacoma a 2-1 lead. Steve Mohn made it 3-1 moments later and then JJ Schmeck scored their second power play goal when Snohomish was shown a blue card for foul accumulation and made it 4-1 with 5:58 left in the third.
Snohomish cut into the lead early in the fourth quarter on a power play goal by John Troka, but the momentum was short lived. Jeff Bader smashed one home two minutes later to take control and give Tacoma a 5-2 lead with 12:16 left. Adrian Correa and Nate Ford added insurance goals en route to the 7-2 victory.
The Stars Reserves moved into the WISL Championship game for the second season in a row, but this time they will get to host the final marking the first time the final won’t be played in Bellingham in three seasons. The WISL trophy has been lifted once at the Soccer Center. The Tacoma Stars knocked off Bellingham during the league’s inaugural season.
Snohomish’s season came to an end after a 3-5-2 regular season. Devin Shull was second in the league in goals scored with 14 and scored at least once in every game, but was held scoreless tonight.
Tacoma Stars Reserves goals: Danny Minniti, Eddie Na, Steve Mohn, JJ Schmeck, Jeff Bader, Adrian Correa, Nate Ford
Snohomish Skyhawks goals: Danny Graham, John Troka
#2 Bellingham United 9, #3 Tacoma Narrows FC 3
Bellingham United methodically built a 5-0 lead early in the third quarter before Tacoma Narrows FC got on the board and coasted to a 9-3 victory in front of a big crowd in the final home game at the Bellingham Sportsplex. Uriel Herrera scored a hat trick and chipped in two assists to lead the Hammers to their fifth championship game. They will seek their fourth straight title when they face the Stars Reserves next Saturday at the Tacoma Soccer Center.
WISL Golden boot winner Richard Henderson got Bellingham on the board first with a first quarter goal on Herrera’s first assist. An early low scoring affair was finally broken open when United added two goals in the second quarter. Kenny Parker made it 2-0 with 5:28 left in the half and then Herrera scored his first at the 3:56 mark. But Narrows was still within striking distance at the half, down 3-0.
Unfortunately for Narrows, Henderson scored what proved to be Bellingham’s game winner just 11 seconds in the second half. Christian Caro made it 5-0 at the 10:25 mark before Alex Gonzalez finally beat United goalkeeper Riley Liddle to score Tacoma’s first goal to make it 5-1 with 9:04 left in the third.
Herrera scored his second goal near the end of the third quarter and then earned his hat trick with a goal late in the fourth quarter. Noe Betancourt Cruz and Ivan Collin rounded out the scoring for the Hammers with goals in the fourth. AJ Nitzel scored twice in the fourth quarter for Narrows but it would not be enough and Bellingham continued their fine form at the Sportsplex with the 9-3 win.
The win cemented the Hammers’ place in a fifth WISL championship game. But for the first time since the 2015 title game, they will have to hit the road for the final. They fell to the Tacoma Stars at the Tacoma Soccer Center at the end of the league’s 2014-2015 season.
Tacoma Narrows’ first season came to an end with the loss. They posted a 4-6-0 record during the regular season, finishing with the league’s third best record.
Bellingham United goals: Uriel Herrera (3), Richard Henderson (2), Kenny Parker, Christian Caro, Noe Betancourt Cruz, Ivan Collin
Tacoma Narrows FC goals: AJ Nitzel (2), Alex Gonzalez