Tacoma Stars Reserves vs. Oly Town Artesians
Tacoma Soccer Center – 6:30 PM
With a win and a Snohomish loss, the Oly Town Artesians can clinch the #3 seed heading into the playoffs, otherwise this is a preview of the semifinal game coming up one week later. The Artesians took the Stars Reserves to the brink in week five but never could get the equalizer, falling 6-5.
Tacoma are 8-0-1 and are riding a 21 game unbeaten streak. Their last loss came in the 2018 championship game and their only blemish since is a 5-5 draw against the Skyhawks on January 11th. They have allowed a league low 30 goals with Mike Arguello in goal most of the time and Alek Greenleaf backing him up. They are led offensively by Nate Ford’s 11 goals.
After going winless last season, the Artesians have had the most dramatic turnaround of any team and are 3-4-2 this season, clinching a playoff spot last week with a 7-4 upset of Bellingham. The biggest reason is the return of goalkeeper JJ Olson, who has made eight starts this season and holds a 5.54 goals against average. Oly has third in goals scored this season and is led by Collin Tate’s seven goals. Alec Zimmmerman has also scored seven times but has only appeared once in the second half.
Snohomish Skyhawks vs. Bellingham United
Snohomish Soccer Dome – 7:00 PM
In another potential preview of the WISL semifinals next week, the Skyhawks can clinch the #3 seed with a win or an Artesians loss. The Skyhawks are undefeated at home this season after posting an 8-6 win over Oly Town, a 7-4 win over Tacoma Narrows and then drawing the Stars Reserves and Oly-Pen Force. They finally picked up a road win last week to clinch a playoff spot and they are now 3-3-3 this season. They are led by the reigning Offensive Player Of The Week Kevin Flavin’s 11 goals.
Bellingham played four of their five home games in the first half of the season and road weariness finally caught up to them last week when they fell 7-4 in Oly Town. But they are still firmly entrenched as the #2 seed and are still extremely dangerous as the league’s top scoring team. Nick Cashmere scored 17 goals in the first half of the season but hasn’t played regularly in the second half and still leads the league with 18 goals. Richard Henderson is third with 13 goals and Eleazar Galvan, who also has not played regularly, is fourth with 12 goals.
Oly-Pen Force vs. Tacoma Narrows
Oly-Pen Sports Center – 7:30 PM
Both the Force and Narrows have been eliminated from the playoffs, but I get the feeling that this game will mean a lot to both clubs anyway as they try to avoid finishing in last place. The Force currently sit in fifth at 2-6-1 while Narrows is sixth, three points behind them at 1-7-1. But Narrows picked up their one and only win in week five with a dominating 10-4 victory over Force, so if they can pick up the win, they will hold the tiebreaker and take the fifth spot. Narrows is the lowest scoring team in the league averaging just 4.44 goals per game. AJ Nitzel leads them with 12 of their 40 goals.
The Force have allowed 100 goals so far this season but 42 of those were scored by Bellingham United. Offensively, they are fifth in goals scored and they are led by Alex Hernandez’s 15 goals. He is second in the league and three goals behind league leader Nick Cashmere. Can he catch him in the final game?