OLYMPIA, Wash. – Just two games into the season, are we already talking about playoffs? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is still a very long way to go. But when the Oly Town Artesians travel to Soccer First Indoor Sports in Arlington on Saturday night to take on the Aviators in a Western Indoor Soccer League contest, the Artesians can take a big step forward in the push for one of four playoff spots in the five team WISL.
The Artesians picked up their first win in franchise history last Saturday with a 10-8 win over the Wenatchee Fire at Olympia Indoor Soccer and currently sit in fourth place in the WISL table, one point behind the Fire and Bellingham United. Meanwhile, the Aviators sit in fifth place, three points behind Oly. A win on Saturday would give the Artesians a two win cushion over Arlington in the eight game WISL season.
But Oly Town has yet to hit the road this season and play four of their next five games away from home. After three straight games (two league games and one friendly) at the cozy confines of Olympia Indoor, the question remains how the extremely young Artesians will respond to travel, much larger fields and hostile crowds.
Matt Stalnik and Greg Wolfe lead the Artesians with three goals each in league play and Nate Salveson and Wille Spurr both have a pair of goals. Wolfe is the only Oly player to score goals in both WISL games but Stalnik has amassed eight goals over all competitions.
The Aviators have scored just six goals on the season thus far after a 4-2 loss to Wenatchee on November 15th and an 8-4 loss to Bellingham last week. Fabian Panduro and Zach Crutchfield each scored twice in the loss to Bellingham and lead the Aviators in goals scored. Two of the three WISL Players of the Week have come from opponents of the Aviators. Wenatchee’s Danny Romero allowed just two goals to the Aviators to win the PotW in week one and Andrew Weisharr scored four goals for Bellingham on Saturday to win in week three.
The two teams have met once already this season, a preseason 24 minute running clock game at the Northwest Indoor Soccer Invitational. In the first game in Oly Town FC history, Mike Rancipher scored early for the Artesians before the Aviators got on the board late to earn the 1-1 draw.
Saturday’s game in Arlington will be webcast live at http://www.olytownfc.com and http://www.olysports.com. Artesians General Manager Brandon Sparks will be on the call. Sparks is also the founder of OlySports.com, football play-by-play man for Newsradio KMAS and the voice of Saint Martin’s basketball webcasts. Fans can follow the action on the webcast or by following @OlyTownFC on Twitter. First kick is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
The Artesians will host Bellingham United in their next home game on Saturday, January 3rd. Advance tickets are available now at http://www.olytownfc.com or by calling (360) 561-7252.