OLYMPIA, WA – The Artesians this last Saturday took on the Tacoma Stars Reserves, a Major Arena Soccer League second team who coming into the game had won eight straight matches. Oly Town had been bouncing between first and second place all season as the Stars had an undefeated streak coming into the match. The game had a lot of hype and local support as Willie Spurr, pro arena soccer player and newly inducted Oly Town Legend was on hand as well as local youth clubs in attendance.
The first period went exactly as the Western Indoor Soccer League standings would show, a great matchup between the top two teams who went scoreless in the first period. Many great defensive blocks and key saves by the Stars and Artesian goalkeepers. Some fantastic defensive positioning was on hand for fans as Collin Labranche led the defense in many Tacoma opportunities being stifled.
“Collin is such a good defender” said Coach Nick Boatright. “I love his determination whether it’s making a goal saving tackle or defending 1v1 on the boards. I feel like I can always trust him.”
Oly Town not used to being held scoreless at home saw a shutout in front of a packed house. That would all change after coaches game planned in between the first and second periods.
Both Oly Town and the Tacoma Stars exchanged three goals each in an action packed second period. Artesians got on the board in the 10th minute with a Kasey Sidor goal followed by two Jason Fairhurst finishes to close out the first half. The Artesians scoring mostly in response to early goals by the Tacoma Stars and both teams went into half tied 3-3.
Oly Town would duke it out with the Stars across the second half scoring two goals, one by Sidor and Yuta Shimazu getting into the action to have Oly Town leading 5-4 well into the fourth period. The final seconds of the match however saw the Stars tie it up 5-5 and it ended with a crowd out of breath from an exciting battle between #1 and #2 seeded opponents. Oly Town’s keeper Matt Stalnik was busy in goal playing the entire 60 minutes only giving up 5 goals against the Stars. Josh Dube also set the record for most appearances by any player in club history with 56.
“The atmosphere was incredible” said Coach Nick Boatright on the crowd. “It was a big part of getting back into the game. It was partly using the energy of the crowd to gain enough momentum to find our goals.”
Oly Town heads into it’s final home league match of the season this next Saturday, February 11th against Bellingham United. 6PM is the kickoff time for those planning on attending the game. Bellingham handled Snohomish last Saturday 12-2 and the furthest distant club rivalry continues as Oly tied Bellingham 6-6 on the road after the Artesians leading most of the match.
Some fun promotions are occurring as well including Kailey Utley, D-1 All American and current holder of the single season goal record (25) will be inducted into the Oly Legends hall of fame. It will also be a special Dancing Goats Coffee Night as the Artesians have a brand new winter scarf available to fans with special Dancing Goats homage on it. Chinqually and TC United youth soccer clubs will also be on hand so get ready for some fun action with the kid’s from those programs.
Tickets are on-sale now by heading to http://www.olytownfc.com and getting them early. The last games have been packed so you’ll want to get a seat early. Food and beverages available as well and provided by Dancing Goats Coffee, Well 80 and Oly Dog House (brats and hot dogs).
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