YAKIMA, Wash. – For the second weekend in a row, the Oly Town Artesians men came back from a 1-0 deficit and scored a late game winner. This time it was defender Collin LaBranche heading in a beautiful pass off of a free kick that gave the Artesians a 2-1 victory over first place Yakima United at SOZO Sports Saturday night.
Just like last Saturday, Oly Town surrendered an early goal to their opponent and had to play catch-up. Luis Valle put Yakima United up 1-0 in the 10th minute on an assist by Johnny Ramirez. Yakima continued to pour on the pressure but the Artesiand defense held firm and Trevor Thompson tied the game up, 1-1, in the 18th minute by pouncing on a loose ball and chipping it over Yakima keeper Luis Birrueta, who had strayed too far from his goal chasing the loose ball. Both teams kept up the pressure for the rest of the half, but the first 45 ended 1-1.
20 minutes into the second half, the Yakima crowd thought the Hoppers had taken the lead but the missed by the slimest of margins and went into the side netting. Oly then had an opportunity right in front of goal but Jason Fairhurst couldn’t wrap his foot around a high bouncing ball and the game remained knotted up 1-1.
In the 75th minute, after a foul by Yakima, the Artesians unleashed a long swinging ball into the box off of a free kick and Collin LaBranche beat Birrueta to the ball and headed it home to give Oly the 2-1 lead with 15 to play. After some nervy moments including a shot just over the bar in stoppage time, the ref blew the whistle and the Artesians completed a 2-1 win.
The win moved Oly to 2-1-0 at the midpoint of the shortened EPLWA season and into first place in the South Division pending the Vancouver Victory/Tacoma Narrows game to be played on Sunday.
Next up for the Artesians is a second round Washington State Super Cup game against Seattle Lone Stars FC on Wednesday night at Black Hills High School. First kick is set for 7:00 PM.
GOALS: ’10 – Luis Valle – Yakima United, ’19 – Trevor Thompson (Max Hauser) – Oly Town, ’75 – Collin LaBranche – Oly Town
DISCIPLINE: Jose Marquez (Yakima) – Yellow, Max Hauser (Oly Town) – Yellow
LINEUP: 1 – Sawyer Price (GK), 2 – Manny Nicasion, 7 – Connor Desmond (’63), 8 – Allen Escalante, 9 – Trevor Thompson (’74), 10 – Alec Zimmerman (’74), 11 – Jason Fairhurst (’63), 13 – Dylan Chavez, 15 – Nate Boatright (’68), 16 – Collin LaBranche, 17 – Max Hauser (’80)
SUBS: 3 – Amri Mwenyeheri, 4 – Marcos Santos (’63), 5 – Tino Pantaleon (’63), 6 – Sammy Taffola (’74), 12 – Jordan Zimmerman (’68), 14 – Craig Johnson (’74), 18 – Carlos Rodriguez (’80)