Sawyer Price | Photo credit: Sonja Purtteman

OLYMPIA, Wash. – After a successful regular season, the Oly Town Artesians play host to Pacific Northwest Soccer Club on Friday, July 16th at 8:00 PM in the quarterfinals of the Evergreen Premier League playoffs. It is the first time that the Artesians have hosted a playoff game since joining the league in 2017. Tickets for the clash are just $8 for adults, $5 for kids, seniors and military and can be purchased at the gate at Black Hills High School. The winner of Friday’s game will face either Everett or Tacoma Narrows in the semifinals on Sunday.

The Artesians finished the regular season with a 3-2-1 and tied on points with Tacoma Narrows with 10. But Tacoma’s 3-0 win gave them the tiebreaker in the standings, so the Artesians are the #2 team out of the EPLWA’s South Division and will face the #3 team from the North, PacNW. Oly is led by Evergreen State product Max Hauser’s three goals and two assists this season. Six other players have each scored one goal apiece. Olympia High School alum and Northwest Nazarene goalkeeper Sawyer Price has started all six league games and sports a 1.22 goals against average in his second year with the Artesians.

Oly Town will have to stop the EPLWA’s all-time leading scorer and 2021 Golden Boot winner, Tyler Bjork. The longtime league veteran scored six goals this season for an otherwise young, but talented PacNW squad that went 2-3-1 in the North. Just two other players scored goals for them this season with two Saint Mary’s University Gaels, Tyler Hardin and Andrew Rotter, rounding out the scoring with two goals each. Cam Welty recorded one shutout in goal for the Tukwila based club.

Super Cup Semifinals Recap: The Artesians took a 2-0 lead at The Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle on Wednesday night but Sporting International roared back with three straight goals to advance to the Washington State Super Cup Finals with a 3-2 victory.

Joe DiCarlo opened the scoring after a foul by Sporting just outside of the box in the 13th minute. DiCarlo’s free kick was perfectly placed and Oly took a 1-0 lead. Alec Zimmerman then made it a 2-0 lead after a throw in from Max Hauser found him on the right side with a lot of room to work with and he fired a shot past the goalkeeper in the 35th minute.

Oly’s bend-but-don’t-break defense seemed to be cruising along until the very last play of the first half when Sporting struck to cut the lead to one. After the break, Sporting seemed to flip a switch and dominated possession for the final 45 cashing in on the equalizing goal in the 55th minute and the game winner in the 75th to send them to the finals where they will face Washington Premier.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Craig Johnson scored the game winning goal in the 88th minute to lead the Oly Town Artesians men to a 3-2 win over Yakima United at Black Hills High School on Saturday night. The dramatic win clinched second place in the Evergreen Premier League’s South Division for the Artesians and they will host a quarterfinal playoff game against PacNW next weekend. Max Hauser added a goal and an assist in the exciting win.

For the first time in league play this season, the Artesians opened the scoring and took a 1-0 lead when Max Hauser headed home a corner kick from Alec Zimmerman in the 13th minute. Despite Oly Town holding much of the possession in the first half, Yakima nearly equalized in the 23rd minute when Artesians goalkeeper Sawyer Price’s pass was picked off by Yakima’s Michael Raya, but Price came out to meet the challenge and got to the ball just before Raya and knocked it off of the attacker and out for a goal kick.

Max Hauser | Credit: Charis Wilson

The Artesians built their lead to 2-0 after Max Hauser raced up the middle and found a streaking Jason Fairhurst on the right, who slotted a shot into the left corner past Hoppers goalkeeper and former Artesian Jorge Villegas in the 42nd minute, and the half came to a close with Oly on top by two goals.

But Yakima picked up the intensity in the second half and put increasing pressure on the Oly Town defense. A nasty tackle at midfield in the 53rd minute by Yakima defender Jose Marquez knocked Fairhurst out of the game, but the referee decided the challenge did not merit a second yellow for Marquez, and the Artesians looked a little shocked after the injury. Seven minutes later, Luis Valle took a long pass from Marquez and fired a shot into the right corner past Price to make it 2-1. Ten minutes after that, in the 70th minute, Price made a save a shot by Valle’s but the rebound went straight to Angel Alvarado, who poked it in and tied the scored at 2-2.

Then, in the 88th minute, Sammy Taffola found Craig Johnson (who came on for Fairhurst) near midfield, Johnson carried it up and fed the ball to Joe DiCarlo and then continued his run, getting the ball back from DiCarlo in perfect position on the left to fire a shot past a diving Villegas and give the Artesians a 3-2 lead with just minutes to play. Yakima had a couple of chances near the end including a stoppage time free kick with the goalkeeper up in the box, but the defense held firm and Oly took the dramatic 3-2 win and claimed a home game in the EPLWA playoffs.

The Artesians improved to 3-2-1 on the season with 10 points but tied with Tacoma Narrows on points in the South Division and lost the tiebreaker due to a 4-2 advantage for Narrows on head-to-head goal differential. That put Oly Town into the second seed out of the South and they will face the North’s #3 seed, PacNW and all-time EPLWA goals leader Tyler Bjork in the first round of the playoffs on either Friday or Saturday at Black Hills High School. Exact date and time is to be determined.

Yakima, meanwhile, fell to 2-3-1 and dropped to the #3 seed out of the South. They will travel to Puyallup next week to face Washington Premier.

Oly Town will be back in action on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Washington State Super Cup. They travel to West Seattle to face Sporting International at the Southwest Athletic Complex next to Chief Sealth International High School. First kick is set for 8:15 PM.

GOALS: ’13 – Max Hauser (Alec Zimmerman) – Oly Town, ’42 – Jason Fairhurst (Hauser) – Oly Town, ’60 – Luis Valle (Jose Marquez) – Yakima, ’70 – Angel Alvarado – Yakima, ’88 – Craig Johnson (Joe DiCarlo) – Oly Town

DISCIPLINE: Jose Marquez (Yakima) – Yellow, Alejandro Guzman (Yakima) – Yellow, Juan Antonio Lopez (Yakima) – Yellow, Sammy Taffola (Oly Town) – Yellow

LINEUP: 1 – Sawyer Price (GK), 2 – Manny Nicasio, 3 – Marcos Santos (’89), 7 – Jake Zimmerman, 8 – Allen Escalante, 10 – Alec Zimmerman (’61), 11 – Trevor Thompson (’67), 14 – Jason Fairhurst (’53), 15 – Marcus Swanson, 16 – Collin LaBranche, 17 – Max Hauser

SUBS: 4 – Dakota Seddon (’89), 6 – Sammy Taffola (’61), 9 – Craig Johnson (’53), 12 – Alex Lopez, 13 – Joe DiCarlo (’67), 18 – Noah Urbina