OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Oly-Pen Force built a three goal lead twice in the third quarter before the Oly Town Artesians battled back but ultimately fell short in a 9-8 loss at The Pavilion on Saturday night. Alex Hernandez provided most of the offense for the Force scoring five times. Nate Boatright and Manny Nicasio chipped in with two goals each for the Artesians but couldn’t get the late equalizer and fell to 2-4-0 on the season.
Collin LaBranche got the Artesians going, scoring the opening goal early in the first quarter off a pass by Christian Segovia. Alex Hernandez tied the game with a minute left in the first and then scored two of the Force’s next three goals including one with 2:21 left in the second quarter that gave the Force a 4-3 lead, following Artesians goals by Jordan Zimmerman and Segovia that tied the game at 3-3. Marco Lopez’s strike a minute later gave the Force a 5-3 lead at the half.
James Salisbury opened the scoring in the third quarter with a goal just 30 seconds in to give the Force their first three goal lead. Manny Nicasio and Nate Boatright got it back to a one goal game, 6-5, Jaisen Zurfluh and Hernandez built the lead back to 8-5 with 2:50 left in the third. Boatright capped off a six goal quarter and sent the game to the fourth quarter with the Artesians trailing by two, 8-6.
Collin Tate got it back to a one goal contest with 12:04 left off of an assist by Boatright but Hernandez struck three minutes later with his fifth goal and what proved to be the game winner. Matt Stalnik replaced Hunter Bowman in goal for the Artesians to provide Oly Town with a sixth attacker and the strategy produced Nicasio’s second goal, who poked in the ball after being knocked down in front of the goal, but despite the extra man and a furious attack, the Force and goalkeeper Cole Weaver held off the Artesians to secure the 9-8 victory.
The loss dropped the Artesians to 2-4-0 while the Force improved to 2-4-0, but because of their 9-6 victory earlier in the season, Oly Town holds the playoff tiebreaker and remained in fourth place in the Western Indoor Soccer League.
The Artesians will get right back at it next Saturday, January 18th when they host the Snohomish Skyhawks. First kick at The Pavilion at The Evergreen State College is set for 6:35 PM. Tickets are just $8 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12 years-old, seniors, military and first responders and the popular Well 80 Beer Garden will be open for fans 21 and over.