Artesians Upset Bellingham, 7-4, Clinch Playoff Spot

Angel Trejo-Delgado and Collin Tate | Photo: Sonja Purtteman

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Down 4-3 going into the fourth quarter and needing a win in one of their final two regular season games against the top two teams in the league, the Oly Town Artesians rung the bell four times including the game tying and game winning goals by Angel Trejo-Delgado to knock off second place and two time Western Indoor Soccer League champion Bellingham United, 7-4, in front of a huge Youth Soccer Night crowd at The Pavilion.

The huge upset, coupled with a 10-5 loss by the Oly-Pen Force, clinched a playoff spot for the Artesians. They will face either Bellingham or the Tacoma Stars Reserves in the semifinals in two weeks.

Bellingham United struck first on Saturday night when Ivan Colin broke the ice with three minutes gone in the game. But the defensive intensity stepped up from there in front of Artesians keeper JJ Olson, who made some fantastic to keep it a one goal game early. Oly took a 2-1 lead after Manny Nicasio got a piece of a pass from Marcos Borja with 5:45 left in the first and David Cook headed one home at the 4:04 mark. But Richard Hendeson’s free kick just 30 seconds later tied the game at 2-2.

The two teams played an intense defensive second quarter, that included numerous blocked shots by defender Josh Dube, that ended scoreless and the teams went to the half all knotted up at 2-2.

The Hammers drew first blood in the second half when Uriel Herrera slipped one past Olson to make it 3-2 but the Artesians never let United get more than one goal ahead. Christian Segovia scored on a pass from Eli Boatright to tie it up at 3-3 before Chris Jepson gave Bellingham their last lead, 4-3, with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

But the fourth was all Oly Town. Angel Trejo-Delgado tied the game at 4-4 with 12:10 left to play slotting home a pass from Boatright and then scored what proved to be the game winner with ten minutes left, banging one past Bellingham goalkeeper and former Artesian Nate Salveson. Knowing they needed insurance against the dangerous Hammers, the Artesians got two insurance goals from Collin Tate and the defense held the top scoring team in the league scoreless over the final 15 minutes to secure the biggest upset in club history with a 7-4 win.

It is the first Western Indoor Soccer League win for the Artesians over Bellingham United, who previously were 11-0-0 against Oly Town. This is the first loss for Bellingham against someone other than the Tacoma Stars Reserves since December 17, 2016, when they fell 10-9 to the Olympic Force. And over the first six seasons of the Western Indoor Soccer League, Bellingham has only ever lost to the Tacoma Stars/Stars Reserves and that lone loss to the Olympic Force.

The Artesians will wrap up the regular season looking for another huge upset next week when they travel to the Tacoma Soccer Center to take on the Stars Reserves. First kick is set for 6:30. The Artesians will be on the road for their semifinal game on February 15th in either Tacoma or Bellingham.

Oly Town Artesians goals: Angel Trejo-Delgado (2), Collin Tate (2), Manny Nicasio, David Cook, Christian Segovia
Bellingham United goals: Ivan Colin, Richard Henderson, Uriel Herrera, Chris Jepson

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