Artesians Face Stars Reserves With Trip To The ‘Ship On The Line

JJ Olson | Photo: Sonja Purtteman

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Oly Town Artesians will face the #1 seeded Tacoma Stars Reserves in the semfinals of the Western Indoor Soccer League on Saturday night, their first appearance in the WISL playoffs since the 2016-2017 season. First kick at the Tacoma Soccer Center is set for 6:30 PM.

The Artesians enter the playoffs after posting a 3-5-2 record during the regular season, a remarkable turnaround over the two previous seasons in which they went a combined 1-16-1. The team has built a competitive roster that upset three-time WISL champion and #2 seed Bellingham United, allowed the least amount of goals during a season in club history, and pushed the defending champion Stars Reserves to the brink in a one goal loss at home and a hard fought two goal loss on the road last weekend.

One of the biggest reasons for the turnaround is a healthy goalkeeper in Saint Martin’s alum, JJ Olson. Olson made nine starts this season after missing most of last season, allowing 47 goals for a 5.37 goals against average. The Lakeview, Minnesota native was named the WISL Defensive Player Of The Week twice this season, including last week for his 27 save performance against the Stars Reserves.

Timberline High School and Evergreen State College product Collin Tate led the team with eight goals while Capital grad Alec Zimmerman added seven. Another local product (Capital and Evergreen), Nate Boatright, anchors the defense and added four goals and seven assists in his sixth season with the Artesians. Newcomers Angel Trejo-Delgado and Manny Nicasio have given Oly Town a boost. Nicasio scored six times, while Trejo-Delgado scored twice including the game tying and game winning goals against Bellingham.

But to get to the championship, the Artesians will have to upset the #1 Stars Reserves, who finished this season 9-0-1, extending their unbeaten streak to 22 games. They have not lost since the 2018 WISL Championship game when they fell to Bellingham. Tacoma is an experience team featuring numerous players that are currently signed to the professional Major Arena Soccer League’s Tacoma Stars or former professional players. They are led by Nate Ford, who scored 12 goals this season, including one goal and three assists last week in their 4-2 win over the Artesians. Mike Arguello has been fantastic in goal again, leading the Stars Reserves to a league low 3.20 goals against per game average this season.

Tickets for the game are $12 for adults and can be purchased at the Tacoma Soccer Center door. For fans unable to attend on Saturday, the game will be webcast on the Artesians Network. Like Oly Town FC on Facebook at FB.com/OlyTownFC to access the link to the webcast.