Week-Three

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Oly Town Artesians defender Collin LaBranche was named the Evergreen Premier League Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. The Olympia High School alum was playing in his first game for the Artesians this season after graduating from Saint Martin’s last week and led the club to a 3-0 win over the Tri-Cities Alliance in Pasco.

Despite a talented squad, the Artesians got off to a rough start to the season but got a nice boost with the return of LaBranche and a couple of other Saint Martin’s players. They played their most complete game on Sunday at Edgar Brown Stadium and picked up their first win of the season and are very much alive in the EPLWA’S Cascade Conference. LaBranche, who will return for one more season with the Saints this fall, won every challenge that came his way and solidified a backline that had struggled over the first two weeks.

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Collin LaBranche with the Artesians in 2017

This is the sixth time that an Oly Town player has been honored with a Defensive POTW award in their three seasons in the EPLWA. Nate Boatright and Kyle Wiese won the award in 2017 and JJ Olson, Crisantos Chavez and Marcos Borja were all honored during the 2018 season.

The Artesians will give LaBranche and their players a well deserved break for the Memorial Day weekend but will be back in action on Sunday, June 2nd when they host the second round of the Washington State Super Cup at Black Hills High School. They will face either BeSea FC of Bellevue or ISC Gunners of Issaquah in the second round of the statewide, single elimination tournament. First kick is set for 4:00 PM.

Oly returns to EPLWA action on Sunday, June 9th when Bellingham United visits Black Hills. It is Artesians 500 night and Oly Town will attempt to pack the park by offering soccer clubs, teams and other non-profits the opportunity to raise some funds by selling tickets. If your club or non-profit would like to raise some money, watch some soccer and have some fun, contact the Artesians at artesians@olytownfc.com or by calling Brandon Sparks at (360) 561-7252.

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Goalkeeper JJ Olson in preseason action | Photo: Charis Wilson

PASCO, Wash. – Oly Town FC exploded for two goals in the 49th minute and goalkeeper JJ Olson made five saves and kept a clean sheet to lead the Artesians to a 3-0 win over Tri-Cities Alliance in Sunday afternoon Evergreen Premier League action at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

Despite many good chances in the first half for both teams, both Olson and Alliance keeper Jose Herrera avoided any damage for the first 45 minutes and both teams went to the break without a score.

But the Artesians finally put it all together in the 49th minute beginning with Shelton High School senior Manny Nicasio’s first goal in his first game that made it 1-0. Just moments later, following a turnover off of the Tri-Cities restart, Evergreen State product Tino Pantaleon scored his first goal as an Artesian and Oly Town took a commanding 2-0 lead.

After allowing the second goal, Tri-Cities picked up the pressure, but Oly was able to weather the storm and dominated play over the final 30 minutes. Pasco’s Jesus Meraz-Rodriguez, also playing in his first game for Oly Town on his high school’s field, added an insurance goal in the 85th minute to ice the game away.

The Alliance had a couple of decent chances over the final seven minutes of play, but Olson and the backline of Collin Tate, Collin LaBranche and Nate Boatright kept the shutout and Oly Town earned their first victory of the season with a 3-0 win.

The win moves Oly Town to 1-3-0 on the season but more importantly, they are just one point behind Yakima United for second place in the Cascade Conference. Bellingham United, coming off a pair of weekend wins, sits in first place with nine points.

The Artesians and the EPLWA now take a break for Memorial Day. Oly Town will be back in action on Sunday, June 2nd when they host the second round of the Washington State Super Cup at Black Hills High School. They will face either BeSea FC of Bellevue or ISC Gunners of Issaquah in the second round of the statewide, single elimination tournament. First kick is set for 4:00 PM.

Oly returns to EPLWA action on Sunday, June 9th when Bellingham United visits Black Hills. It is Artesians 500 night and Oly Town will attempt to pack the park by offering soccer clubs, teams and other non-profits the opportunity to raise some funds by selling tickets. If your club or non-profit would like to raise some money, watch some high quality soccer and have some fun, contact the Artesians at artesians@olytownfc.com or by calling Brandon Sparks at (360) 561-7252.

It was another beautiful day out at Black Hills High School for Artesians soccer and Molly Walsh was on hand to photograph it all. Surf Woldajo scored for Oly, but the result didn’t go as planned with a 4-1 loss. But we’ll get back after it this Sunday with a trip to Tri-Cities to take on the Alliance.

Our next home game is set for June 2nd when we face either BeSea FC or ISC Gunners in the Washington Super Cup. Then on Sunday, June 9th, we host our next EPLWA game against Bellingham United.

To see more of Molly’s work, visit her website here. Thanks again!

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