Oni Mayer on Defense

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The first place Seattle Stars scored a fifth minute goal and a stoppage time goal near the end of the game to knock off the Oly Town Artesians 2-0 on Saturday evening at Wembley Field at The Evergreen State College.

Aty Taylor scored the opening and what proved to be the game winning goal for the Stars on a bicycle kick from an Artesians clearance gone awry. Tyler Bjork got a piece of the clearance and was credited with an assist on a shot that happened to find the perfect angle through a seam in the Oly defense.

Bjork, the league leader in goals with 13 and scored four goals in the previous meeting between the Stars and Artesians, was held scoreless and was forced to leave the game for most of the second half with an injury. He returned to the game late, but could not get on the board thanks to a fantastic game by Oly Town center backs Collin LaBranche and Brett Stallworth. Oni Mayer also had a nice game from the back line including a handful of crosses into the box on offense that kept the Stars on their heels throughout the contest.

The Artesians came out of the gates aggressively and outshot the Stars in the first half and had more shots on goal in the second half. The two teams traded shots throughout the physical but fast paced game, but Stars keeper Carlos Rodriguez made four saves to post his third clean sheet of the season. Miles Sanchez scored the insurance goal late into stoppage time to seal the victory for Seattle.

Oly Town dropped to 4-5-3 with 15 points in their inaugural season in the Evergreen Premier League. Meanwhile, Seattle retook first place in the EPLWA after Bellingham United took the lead with a 3-2 win over Spokane earlier on Saturday.

The Artesians will look to finish strong with their home finale on Sunday, July 23rd. First kick against Washington Premier South Sound FC at The Evergreen State College is set for 3:00 PM. Sunday’s game is Fan Appreciation night and all youth soccer players in uniform will be admitted for free and will be invited onto the field for introductions with the teams.

JJ Olson | Photo by Charis Wilson

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For the second time in three days, Kyle Witzel scored the lone goal for the Oly Town Artesians in a 1-1 draw, including the equalizer tonight against the Vancouver Victory at Wembley Soccer Shop Field. Witzel’s 66th minute goal evened things up after Moi Diaz scored for the Victory in stoppage time of the first half. Goalkeeper JJ Olson made four saves in the draw that moved the Artesians to 4-4-3 with 15 points in their inaugural season in the Evergreen Premier League.

It took over 45 minutes before either team broke through in an evenly played but rough first half. Diaz scored his second goal of the season on a pass from Jessie Garcia just before the half came to an end and gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

The Artesians continued to struggle to put the ball on frame, registering just one shot on goal amongst their seven shots, but that one shot on goal came in the 66th minute when Kyle Witzel received a pass from Alec Zimmerman that made the entire Vancouver defense stop and plead for an offsides call. They did not receive it and Witzel dribbled around Victory goalkeeper Trevor Wilson to score an easy goal to level the game at 1-1.

Both teams had fantastic chances in the final 24 minutes including another last second opportunity for the Artesians’ opponent that was foiled and both teams earned a point with the 1-1 draw.

Vancouver outshot the Artesians 9-7 including five shots on goal, but they also out-fouled the Artesians, 16-10, including four fouls called on Kazuki Tateishi. Both teams picked up a yellow card, the first to Oly Town’s Sasa Yodkerepauprai in the 41st minute and an 80th minute caution to the Victory’s Kevin Stordahl.

The Artesians stayed in fourth place after four straight games without a loss, three points behind the third place Victory, who moved to 5-3-3 with 18 points and are still in the thick of things in the EPLWA race.

Oly Town continues their three game homestand on Saturday night when they will try to slow down EPLWA goal king Tyler Bjork and the first place Seattle Stars. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM and gates open at 5:15.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – After five games on the road, the Oly Town Artesians finally return home for a pair of games this week starting with a Tuesday night tilt against the Vancouver Victory. First kick at Wembley Field at The Evergreen State College is set for 7:00 PM. Tickets are just $8 for adults and $5 for kids 5-12 years old. Kids under 5 are free.

The Artesians enter the Tuesday night match riding a three game unbeaten streak. After a tough mid-season stretch, the streak started two Tuesdays ago in Ridgefield when Blake McMillian and JT Meyer notched goals to lead Oly Town to a 2-1 win over the Victory. They then traveled to Yakima United and took home a 3-1 win before drawing with the Olympic Force 1-1 on Sunday afternoon. Saint Martin’s senior Kyle Witzel scored an early goal against Olympic in his first shot as an Artesian and JJ Olson allowed just a penalty kick goal to hold on for the point. The Artesians moved to 4-4-2 with 14 points in their inaugural season in the EPLWA.

Meyer leads the Artesians with three goals including the game winner against the Victory. Surf Wodajo also has three goals but has not played since a June 17th loss to Seattle.

The Victory enter the game just three points ahead of Oly at 5-3-2 with 17 points. They are coming off of a tough 3-1 loss to the first place Seattle Stars on Saturday evening in Kent and are 1-2-1 over their last four games including their loss to the Artesians on July 1st. Corban alum Nate Cheney leads the Victory with four goals. Timur Zhividze also has four goals but all of those came in their season opener against Bellingham United and he has since moved on to the Portland Timbers U23s.

Tuesday’s game is the first game of a three game homestand for Oly. The first place Seattle Stars and EPLWA all-time leading scorer Tyler Bjork will be in town on Saturday for a 6:00 PM kick off. Then the Artesians will close out their home slate on Sunday, July 23rd against Washington Premier South Sound FC at 3:00 PM. All three games take place at Wembley Field on the campus of The Evergreen State College. Tickets are available online at www.olytownfc.com/tickets or available at the gate starting 45 minutes before first kick.