Tonbra Akpobodor (Quinn Width photo)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Matt Stalnik and Tonbra Akpobodor each scored first half goals for the Oly Town Artesians, but that was all the Tacoma Stars Reserves would allow in a 7-2 Stars victory at the Tacoma Soccer Center on Saturday night.

Stalnik put the Artesians up 1-0 early in the game with a ball just barely snuck past both Stars Reserves goalkeeper Aaron Anderson and the goal line. Oly buckled down and played a solid defensive quarter and held the lead after the first 15 minutes.

Nate Ford got Tacoma going midway through the second quarter and Danny Minniti gave them a 2-1 lead with about two minutes left in the half. But Oly answered when Akpobodor finished in front of the goal off a pass from Josh Dube with just 21.6 seconds left. But the tie was short lived as Minniti scored his second of the game with five seconds left and Tacoma took a 3-2 lead into the locker room.

After that, it was all Tacoma. Adrian Correa and JJ Schmeck scored third quarter goals and Ford and Dourado added goals in the fourth to move the Stars Reserves to 4-2-0, just three points behind first place Bellingham United with two games left to play, including a visit from the Hammers on January 27th.

With the loss, the Artesians fell to 1-5-0 this season and now face a must win next week when they play host to the Olympic Force on Saturday, January 27th. It’s Toyota of Olympia night at The Pavilion and there will be prizes and more throughout the game. First kick is set for 6:30 PM and tickets can be purchased at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.

Austin Kelley Awards Night presented by HDR Engineering is coming up on Saturday, January 27th. The Artesians will face off against the non-league Oly Legends in a tribute match honoring the memory of Austin Kelley. More details about this exciting evening at The Pavilion will be released shortly.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Oly Town Artesians (1-4-0, 3 points) hit the road on Saturday night, making the short trip up I-5 to take on the Tacoma Stars Reserves (3-2-0, 9 points) at the Tacoma Soccer Center at 7:00 PM.

Saturday night’s game is a rematch of the Artesians’ 7-5 win on December 16th right before the Holiday break. Tonbra Akpobodor and Matt Stalnik scored twice and goalkeeper JJ Olson made 27 saves to lead Oly Town to their first win of the season. Nate Ford tallied a hat trick and Micah Wenzel scored for the Stars Reserves.

Stalnik and Gabriele Zaccagnini are tied for the team lead with five goals each and JT Meyer and Christian Segovia trail them with four. JJ Olson has made three starts this season and was named Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against Tacoma. Despite just one league win, the Artesians are still in the hunt for the playoffs and are tied in points with Olympic for the fourth and final spot.

The Stars Reserves sit in second place in the Western Indoor Soccer League with nine points, but are six points behind first place Bellingham United. Tacoma and the Artesians are tied for last in the WISL with 30 goals scored this season, but the Stars Reserves have allowed just 25 goals in their five games. Aaron Anderson has been named Defensive Player of the Week twice, including a split of the award with his teammate Mark Lee last week after their 6-3 win over the Snohomish Skyhawks.

Oly Town holds the all-time advantage over the Stars Reserves with a 2-1-1 record over the last three seasons. Their only loss was last season in Oly’s lone trip to the Tacoma Soccer Center in the series, a 4-3 last minute loss.

The Artesians return home on Saturday, January 20th when they face the Olympic Force with a possible playoff spot on the line on Toyota of Olympia Night. Game time at The Pavilion is set for 6:30 PM.

Austin Kelley Awards Night presented by HDR Engineering is coming up on Saturday, January 27th. The Artesians will face off against the non-league Oly Legends in a tribute match honoring the memory of Austin Kelley. More details about this exciting evening at The Pavilion will be released shortly.

Josh Dube and JT Meyer (Matt Ferris photo)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In front of a raucous, standing room only crowd – the biggest in Oly Town indoor soccer history – the Oly Town Artesians rang in the new year with five different goal scorers, but fell just short in an 8-5 loss to first place Bellingham United on Saturday night at The Pavilion at The Evergreen State College

Five different Artesians scored in the loss, including Matt Stalnik, scoring his fifth goal of the season early in the fourth quarter to cut Bellingham’s lead to 6-3. The Hammers scored the next two goals to take control of the contest, at 8-3. Oly scored twice with less than two minutes to go to give the crowd something to celebrate late, with Josh Dube and Collin LaBranche each getting on the board, but the deficit was just too much and United moved to 5-0-0 in Western Indoor Soccer League play.

Bellingham opened the scoring with three goals in the first quarter before the Artesians finally broke through Hammer keeper Riley Liddle on TJ O’Connor’s poke of a loose ball with 3:54 left in the first half. Kurtis Pederson added another for Bellingham moments before the end of the half to give them a 4-1 lead at the break.

JT Meyer scored his fourth goal of the season midway through the third quarter to cut Bellingham’s lead back to three at 5-2.

Brendan Quilici and Noe Betancourt each recorded braces for Bellingham in the win, and Richard Henderson scored his 10th goal of the season. Uriel Herrera and Jonathan Ruvalcaba each added a goal for the Hammers.

Oly Town dropped to 1-4-0 this season but are still in the hunt for a playoff spot with three league games remaining. The Artesians head to Tacoma to take on the Stars Reserves next weekend. First kick at the Tacoma Soccer Center on Saturday, January 13th is set for 7:00 PM.

The Artesians return home on Saturday, January 20th when they face the Olympic Force with a possible playoff spot on the line. Game time at The Pavilion is at 6:30 PM and tickets can be purchased at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.