#1 Tacoma Stars Reserves 4, #4 Bellingham United 2
The Tacoma Stars Reserves were held scoreless for the first three quarters but rallied in the fourth quarter for four goals and knocked off Bellingham United 4-2 to return to the WISL championship game where they will host the #2 seed Everett City.
Bellingham United struck first 10 minutes into the first quarter with Sebastian Kent giving the Hammers the 1-0 lead. Neither team would manage another goal for the next 23 minutes until Ivan Colin put Bellingham up 2-0 at the 9:12 mark of the third quarter. The Bellingham defense and goalkeeper Riley Liddle kept the Stars off the board they took a two goal lead into the fourth quarter.
Mark Lee got the Stars on the board early in the fourth on a power play goal with 11:43 left to play. Five minutes later, AJ Nitzel scored the equalizer to make it 2-2. Two minutes later, Amos Freiheit scored what proved to be the game winner at the 4:22 mark. Cris Lozano added an insurance goal two minutes after that and Tacoma survived Bellingham’s upset attempt with the 4-2 victory.
With the win, Tacoma will play in their fifth straight WISL championship game and are looking for their second championship in a row. Meanwhile, this will be the first WISL championship game without Bellingham United.
Tacoma goals: Mark Lee, AJ Nitzel, Amos Freiheit, Cris Lozano
Bellingham goals: Sebastian Kent, Ivan Colin
#2 Everett City 6, #3 Oly Town Artesians 5
Down 4-1 at the half, the #2 seed Everett City rallied for five second half goals including a last minute game winner by Hayden Rubio to complete the comeback and advance to the WISL championship game in their first season. Rubio scored both the equalizer and the game winner late in the game for Everett City. Johan Espinoza added a pair of goals for City.
Oly Town’s Joe Sammartino opened the scoring with a goal with 6:25 left in the first quarter and the first 15 minutes would come to a close with the Artesians up 1-0. Everett equalized early in the second quarter on Espinoza’s strike at the 14:20 mark, but Oly would open up a 4-1 lead heading into halftime after goals by Alex Vogt, Asa Moncivias and Rainier Schlekewey.
Everett cut the lead to just one goal in the third quarter thanks to a goal by Edgar Tavares with 10:41 left and then Espinoza’s second goal at the 2:20 mark. They would tie the game up at 4-4 with 10:27 left in the fourth quarter thanks to Cristiano Whitaker’s strike, but Oly Town would retake the lead on Moncivias’ second goal of the game and Oly Town looked to be on their way to the WISL’s first semifinal upset.
But two late blue cards cost the Artesians with Rubio getting the game square at 5-5 moments after the first power play expired and then scoring the game winner on the second power play to lead Everett to the 6-5 win. They will travel to Tacoma next weekend to face the Tacoma Stars Reserves in the championship game.
Everett City goals: Johan Espinoza, Edgar Tavares, Espinoza, Cristiano Whitaker, Hayden Rubio, Hayden Rubio
Oly Town goals: Joe Sammartino, Alex Vogt, Asa Moncivias, Rainier Schlekewey, Asa Moncivias