Artesians Resurgence Too Much for Steelheads

OLYMPIA, WA – It was a tale of two halves Saturday Night at the Evergreen State College Pavilion during a Week 2 match up between the visiting Snohomish Steelheads and hometown soccer club the Oly Town Artesians. The November 12th crowd braving cold temperatures under heater towers to root on their local pro-am Olympia team were in for a surprise second half after a dismal start.

The first quarter saw a goalkeeper war between Trevor Davoren of Snohomish and Oly Legend Matt Stalnik. Stalnik ended up with 39 saves while Davoren had 23 and a power play no goal effort that set the tone for the entire match. Big, physical tackles and checks covered the game in a sparring match that saw low offensive spark from either team which previously on November 5th saw 24 total goals between the Artesians and the Force. Several shots pinging off the posts and dozens of saves were the highlight of the first half.

Stalnik (left) posting 39 saves against Snohomish (Photo: Gloria Towne)

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First half winner Snohomish Steelheads proved to be a physical prowess and an early lead created by a Steelhead-Tyler Hopp score in the 2nd Period at the 5 minute mark. Steelheads would go into half with a 1-0 lead and a large moral victory blanking the Artesians in a usually goal-heavy environment at the shorter pitch at the Pavilion in Olympia.

“Matt Stalnik made so many great saves between the sticks. They (Snohomish) were trying to take advantage of their height with the fly’s up style long throw but Matty was equal to the challenge every time” said Head Oly Town Coach Nick Boatright.

Second half proved to be a different story though Snohomish coming out immediately with a goal just over a minute into action by Daniel Amador. What would happen next surprised everyone in the crowd. 5 Artesians Goals in the 3rd Period would barrage Snohomish seeing 5 different goal scorers for Oly Town.

Led again by Week 1 Player of the Week Yuta Shimazu to open the scoring in the 11th minute followed by Kasey Sidor, Manny Nicasio, Mitchell Balmer and Nate Boatright. Captain Nate Boatright’s highlight was a calm, collected direct free kick strike from the top of the box after a defensive clear. The kick touched no defenders or keepers as it glided centimeters above the ground from the moment it was struck by Boatright till the moment it hit the back of the net.

“I was very impressed with the composure of our team to miss good looks in the first half and be down at halftime” said Nick Boatright. “It was clear we had to be aggressive going into the second half but sometimes when you try to go on the front foot and be aggressive it ends up leading to poor decision-making but we had had more players in positions for the second ball after the Snohomish keeper made saves.”

Mitchell Balmer (Photo: Gloria Towne)

Helping lead the offensive charge was Mitchell Balmer a graduate of the Evergreen State College and former collegiate soccer player added 2 key goals, one in the third and one in the fourth that kept Snohomish in the rearview mirror.

“The second (goal) being the one I enjoyed more because it is a great representation of how valuable being at the back post is” Nick Boatright on Balmer’s second game closing goal.

Keeper wars continued through the remainder of the 4th Period as Matt Stalnik continued to climb through the twenties and thirties on the league stat sheet which eventually tallied 39 saves. Stalnik created a human wall continually getting a hand on quick point blank shots by the steelheads and strategically cutting off angles on what would have normally been great goal scoring opportunities for opposing teams.

Alec Zimmerman returning to the Artesians fresh off of captaining Oly Town’s USL League Two squad in the summer made an immediate impact and scored in the 4th Period from an assist from Jason Fairhurst. Fairhurst was no selfish player on the night adding two assists to help the Artesians cruise to another victory at home and to start the WISL Season 2-0-0.

“His composure on the ball was so critical for us. When you have a player with his soccer IQ you want to get him the touches he needs to influence the game” Coach Boatright regarding Alec Zimmerman.

Alec Zimmerman (Photo: Gloria Towne)

Skipper Nick Boatright in his first year Head Coaching in the Western Indoor Soccer League added a few newcomers to the game day roster including Jesus Flores but also added Oly Legend and Career Record Leader in Appearances Brett Stallworth (52 Oly Town Appearances Since 2014) to add impact to the Oly Town Artesians.

Oly Town after picking up two key home WISL wins are now on the road in a very odd scheduling snafu by the league until January 14th 2023 as the they head to Portland this next Saturday November 19th 230PM kick at Indoor Goals in Beaverton, Oregon.

Second Half Artesian Celebration (Photo: Gloria Towne)

The Artesians to help curb the long home match drought have scheduled an exhibition against Bellevue FC who frequent the Semi-Pro divisions of Washington State Soccer and are looking to test the indoor waters. 4PM kickoff January 7th at the Evergreen State Pavilion for those interested in attending as tickets are on-sale at olytownfc.com.

Oly Town sits in 1st Place for the second week in a row to begin the Western Indoor Soccer League 2022-23 campaign.

Oly Town is a local professional-amateur soccer club founded in 2014 and is in their 8th season in the WISL. The Artesians look to gain their first berth into the WISL Championship having only qualified for the Semifinals in years past. The Artesian Soccer Club also competes in the USL League Two outdoor franchise and recently signed a promotion with the USL W League bringing the first ever USL Women’s Soccer Program to Washington State in its history.

December 9th the Oly Town Artesians are hosting a “Celebrating Women’s Soccer” Night at 7PM at Nicole’s Bar Off Legion in Downtown Olympia to crown the 2022 Northwest Premier League Champion Women as well as celebrate their signing with the USL W League. Fun W League Swag, Drink Specials, Artesian Bar Food Menu, Prizes and community soccer figures will be on hand so make sure and mark your calendars.

Families looking to keep active this winter can look no further than the “Oly Oly Oly” Kid’s Soccer Camp hosted by USL and WISL Players and Staff three Saturday’s in December. Head to olytownfc.com for information on this fantastic opportunity to learn and play with the regions USL Soccer Club.

Click Image for Kid’s Camp Information

For more information on tickets, schedules or history visit olytownfc.com and follow @olytownfc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Local businesses and individuals interested in keeping the lights on at Oly Town can contribute or donate by visiting the partners page at olytownfc.com.

Game Statistics:

Manny Nicasio (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

Mitchell Balmer (2 Goals)

Alec Zimmerman (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

Jason Fairhurst (2 Assists)

Yuta Shimazu (1 Goal)

Nate Boatright (1 Goal)

Kasey Sidor (1 Goal)

Brett Stallworth (1 Assist)

Matt Stalnik (60 Minutes, 4 Goals Against, 39 Saves, 4 Assists)

11.12.2022 Photo Gallery by Gloria Towne

Visit https://allaroundtowne.photoreflect.com/ for more of Gloria’s work.