Neil Boyal | Photo: Sonja Purtteman

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Neil Boyal converted a penalty kick in the 69th minute and the Oly Town Artesians held off a furious attack by the Grays Harbor Gulls to take a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the Washington State Super Cup on a windy Wednesday night at Black Hills High School. With the win, the Artesians advanced to the first Super Cup championship game to be played on Friday, July 12th at the Washington Premier Complex in Puyallup.

The Artesians held most of the possession over the first 45 minutes and had numerous chances during the first half but three of the four Oly Town shots on goal were right into the arms of Gulls goalkeeper Alexis Garcia and the two teams went to the locker room scoreless.

The Gulls continued to dodge good opportunities for the Artesians until Tino Pantaleon danced along the end line and tried to deliver a centering pass. Unfortunately for the Gulls, the ball caught the arm of their defender and the referee whistled them for a hand ball in the box. Neil Boyal stepped up and calmly drilled the shot into the corner to give Oly a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute.

After that, it was hold on time for the Artesians. Chasing a one goal deficit, Grays Harbor attempted to bomb balls over the top and find Juanito Lopez and had success putting extra pressure on the Artesians’ backline of Brandon Kam, Nate Boatright, Collin LaBranche and Esau Vazquez. The Gulls best opportunity came in stoppage time on a wild sequence in which goalkeeper Sawyer Price came well off his line and ended up 25 yards out, but the Gulls could not get a shot past the last line of defenders and eventually ran out of time on their Cup run.

The Artesians will face either Nido Aguila Club America Seattle or Kirkland FC in the finals on July 12th. Their semfinal game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 2nd at SERA in Tacoma.

After the thrilling Super Cup win, the Artesians get a weekend off before travelling to Yakima and Seattle on the June 29th and 30th. The next home Evergreen Premier League game is on Saturday, July 6th when the Tri-Cities Alliance hit the capital city. It’s a 6:00 PM first kick and tickets are available now at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Oly Town Artesians host their Southwest Washington rival Grays Harbor Gulls on Wednesday in the semifinals of the inaugural Washington State Super Cup. First kick is set for 7:30 PM at Black Hills High School. Tickets are just $5 at the gate and the first 20 paying fans will receive a free Artesians scarf courtesy of Kevin Hayward State Farm. All Well Heads season ticket holders are free along with SPSCC, Saint Martin’s and Evergreen students with ID.

The first year of the Washington State Super Cup was open to all semi-pro soccer clubs across Washington State with nine clubs taking part this season. The Artesians knocked off the ISC Gunners of the Western Washington Premier League 7-0 in the quarterfinals with two goals from Saint Martin’s forward Jason Fairhurst and single goals by Neil Boyal, Angel Trejo-Delgado, Manny Nicasio, Christian Segovia and Geovanny Vazquez. Sawyer Price registered the shutout in goal.

Meanwhile, the Grays Harbor Gulls – another WWPL squad – knocked off the Harbor Force 2-0 to advance to Wednesday’s game and are riding a four-game winning streak between their league games and the Super Cup. They are led by Juan Oropeza’s three goals and three assists this season, but he is not eligible for Wednesday’s game because he received two yellow cards in the previous game. Alex Pugadelarosa and Oropeza scored in their Super Cup win and Alex Arias chipped in two assists.

This is the first competitive match between the Artesians and Gulls. The two teams met in a practice game two weeks ago with Oly Town jumping out to a 3-0 lead before making an almost entire team change at halftime and allowing two early second half goals before regaining control and taking the 3-2 win.

For those not able to attend, the game will be webcast by the Artesians Network on the Oly Town FC Facebook page. The winner of Wednesday’s contest will move on to the Super Cup Final to be played on Friday, July 12th at the Washington Premier Complex in Puyallup.

After the Super Cup game, the Artesians get a weekend off before travelling to Yakima and Seattle on the June 29th and 30th. The next home Evergreen Premier League game is on Saturday, July 6th when the Tri-Cities Alliance hit the capital city. It’s a 6:00 PM first kick and tickets are available now at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.

Sawyer Price | Photo: Sonja Purtteman

BREMERTON, Wash. – Jesus Meraz-Rodriguez scored in the first half and his brother, Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez, scored the game winner in the second half to lead the Artesians to a 2-1 victory over the Oly-Pen Force at Gordon Field in Bremerton on Saturday afternoon. The win kept the Artesians in the playoff hunt in the Evergreen Premier League’s Cascade Conference with four games left in the regular season.

Oly Town opened the game dominating possession and produced several early chances. The Artesians chipped away at the Oly-Pen defense until Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez worked his way down to the end line and dribbled a pass into the middle that found Jesus Meraz-Rodriguez, who punched it to the right of Force keeper Cole Weaver for a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute.

The Force turned the tables on the Artesians to begin the second half and produced many dangerous opportunities until Keeton Heggerness got the final touch on a counterattack right before Oly Town goalkeeper Sawyer Price could get there and tied the game at 1-1 in the 63rd minute.

After the goal, the Artesians tightened up the defense and were able to get more possession going forward, again testing the Force defense. In the 76th minute, Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez received a pass, took two quick touches and fired a laser from 30 yards out, beating Weaver to the right to give them a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

The Force pressed over the final ten minutes to try to get the equalizer, but Price was up to the task making a handful of saves and the Artesians held on for the 2-1 win. They moved to 2-4-0 with six points in the Cascade Conference and are now five points behind the second place Seattle Stars for a playoff spot. The Force dropped to 3-2-1 and remain in second place in the Rainier Conference.

Oly Town FC will next face the Grays Harbor Gulls on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Washington State Super Cup. First kick at Black Hills High School is set for 7:30 PM. The first 20 fans through the gates will receive an Artesians scarf courtesy of Kevin Hayward State Farm.

The next home Evergreen Premier League game is on Saturday, July 6th when the Tri-Cities Alliance hit the capital city. It’s a 6:00 PM first kick and tickets are available now at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.