PUYALLUP, Wash. – Daniel Gonzalez put the Oly Town Artesians up 1-0 early in a must win game against Washington Premier on Sunday afternoon, but WPFC rattled off four unanswered goals to knock the Artesians out of the playoff hunt and clinch the best record in the Evergreen Premier League’s regular season.
Needing to win out and get a little help from Spokane next week, the Artesians got off to a hot start against the team with the best record in the EPLWA. Daniel Gonzalez caught WPFC keeper Mike Arguello by surprise and popped one from distance over the top to put Oly up 1-0 in the 15th minute. It was Gonzalez’s fourth goal in four games played for the Artesians this season.
But Brandon Madsen tied it up 15 minutes later when he found a little bit of space and fired one past Oly goalkeeper Bradley Hanson, who made his second straight start in place of the injured JJ Olson. Hanson made a couple of fantastic saves over the next ten minutes, but a free kick by Edwin Brown beat him low in the 40th minute to give WPFC a 2-1 lead.
Washington Premier added two more goals in the second half, the first by Kodai Lida in the 54th minute, and Madsen’s second of the game and tenth of the season in the 80th minute, and held off the Artesians to take the 4-1 victory. The win moved them to 8-1-0 and they clinched the Cascade Division title. They also clinched the #1 seed in the first EPLWA playoffs beginning on July 21st.
The loss dropped the Artesians to 4-3-2 and they were eliminated from the playoff hunt in just their second season in the EPLWA. They will look to win their fifth game in their season finale on Sunday, July 15th at the Harmony Sports Complex.