Surafel Wodajo | Photo: Charis Wilson

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Surafel Wodajo scored his second goal of the season in the 15th minute but the Oly Town Artesians couldn’t find another goal and Missael Lopez scored the equalizer and the eventual game winner in the second half to lead Yakima United to a 4-1 victory at Black Hills High School on Saturday night.

The Artesians took the quick lead in the 15th minute when a Geovanny Vazquez shot bounced away from Yakima keeper Luis Birrueta and Wodajo pounced on the rebound and fired a shot that found the lower right corner to make it 1-0. Despite many more Oly chances, the first 45 minutes came to a close with just the one goal.

Oly Town controlled the flow of the game for the first 60+ minutes but Missael Lopez received a beautiful through ball from Williams Pineda and beat JJ Olson to equalize in the 66th minute. 11 minutes later, Lopez waltzed into an open spot in the defense and fired from 30 yards out into the lower left corner to make it 2-1. From there, it was all Yakima. Pineda picked off a pass and scored in the 81st and Johnny Ramirez took advantage of a demoralized Oly defense to score an easy insurance goal in the 83rd that gave the Hoppers the 4-1 victory.

With the win, Yakima remains unbeaten on the season at 1-0-1 and are currently in first place in the Cascade Conference. They return home and will face defending league champion Washington Premier at 5:00 tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Artesians fell to a shocking 0-3-0 and will have to figure out what went wrong before their trip to Pasco next Sunday to take on the Tri-Cities Alliance. First kick at Edgar Brown Stadium is at 2:00.

The Artesians return home next on Sunday June 2nd for a Washington Super Cup game before hosting their next EPLWA home game when Bellingham United visits Olympia on Sunday, June 9th. Tickets are available at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.

Surafel Wodajo | Photo: Charis Wilson

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Oly Town Artesians came up short in a pair of thrilling week one games, dropping Saturday’s home game 3-2 to the Seattle Stars and then suffered a 2-1 loss in stoppage time in Bellingham on Sunday. It was two close games to open the season that just barely slipped through the Artesians fingers.

In Saturday’s game at Black Hills High School, the Seattle Stars struck first with a goal by Aty Taylor just before the end of the first half. Christian Segovia equalized for the Artesians in the 52nd minute with a shot from just inside the box past Stars keeper Andrew Morrison. But just moments later, Andrei Marina found received a pass and slipped past the Artesians defense to slot another past JJ Olson to take a 2-1 lead. Quinn Fahling put the Stars up 3-1 in the 72nd minute and the Stars weathered the Artesians attack, despite allowing a goal to Geovanny Vazquez in stoppage time to take the 3-2 victory.

Game two of the weekend took the Artesians up to Bellingham on Sunday evening. The two teams played to a scoreless first half despite the Artesians holding the majority of possession while the Hammers had the more dangerous chances. But United flipped the script early in the second half and Eleazar Galvan broke the tie in the 65th minute to give the Hammers a 1-0 lead. Oly tied the game in the 83rd minute when Surafel Wodajo popped a shot up and over the closing Bellingham keeper, Hector Gutierrez.

But in stoppage time, Bellingham took advantage of the Artesians on the counter-attack and Olegario Orozco found some space and drove one past Olson to score what would prove to be the game winner. United held off Oly’s heavy attack after the goal during an extended stoppage time but would hold on in their season opener for the 3-2 win.

The Artesians will look to regroup on Saturday, May 11th when they host Yakima United on Wembley Soccer Shop Youth Soccer Night at Black Hills High School. All youth soccer players in their uniform will get in for free thanks to Wembley. First kick is set for 6:00 PM and kids in uniform are invited to show up early and walk out with the players during introductions. Tickets for adults are $8 and youth, military and seniors get in for $5. Tickets are available now by visiting www.olytownfc.com/tickets.

Stay up to date with the Artesians all season long and watch live and archived games on Artesian Vision by visiting www.olytownfc.com, following them on Twitter at twitter.com/OlyTownFC, and liking them on Facebook at FB.com/OlyTownFC.

TJ O’Connor on defense

The Oly Town Artesians wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 1-1 draw against Saint Martin’s University on Saturday afternoon in Lacey. Collin Tate scored the lone goal for the Artesians on a penalty kick 15 minutes into the second half and Brad Hanson kept the Artesians level with six saves in a spot start.

After a scoreless first half, Tino Pantaleon earned the Artesians a penalty kick after being tripped in the box by the Saints’ Jason Fairhurst. Collin Tate stepped up and buried the penalty to give Oly a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the second half.

Jason Fairhurst scores for SMU

Ten minutes later, Fairhurst made up for his foul on Pantaleon and slipped one past Hanson to tie the game 1-1. Both teams had good chances over the final 20 minutes and the Saints made a strong push late in the game to break the tie, but the Artesians held on for the draw.

Christian Segovia

The Artesians wrapped up the preseason with a 4-2-1 record and will open the Evergreen Premier League season next Saturday at home against the Seattle Stars. First kick at Black Hills High School on May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Night is set for 6:00 PM. There will be a Star Wars costume contest, all kids in costumes can walk out with the players, Star Wars trivia, the giant soccer ball at halftime, soccer darts, and much more. Tickets are available at http://www.olytownfc.com/tickets.