A goal in each half propelled the Spokane Shadow Men's First Team to a 2-0 victory against OSA Seattle FC in the opening game of their Northwest Conference title defense Saturday night at Spokane Falls CC Stadium. Defender Ole Cloppenburg scored the opener and Tanner Williams the second on assists from Mike Ramos.
The team's unbeaten regular season streak continues into 2019 at 15 games largely off the strength of finishing last season 7-0-5 and winning the final two games of their inaugural 2017 campaign.
In a close contest featuring a Shadow side still coming together with college players reporting all week, the contest played out fairly evenly with the hosts have a slight edge in the possession on the night. OSA, though created a chance early in the match with a corner in the 22nd minute that new keeper Peter Byrne stretched to knock out of danger.
Six minutes later a short corner from Jesse Retan and Tanner Williams set up a Mike Ramos cross that caught the visitors unaware as the ball soared to the back post and newcomer Ole Cloppenburg nodded it home in the 28th.
OSA Seattle would earn several looks at goal later in the half with a pair of shots narrowly missing the right post in the 34th and 41st. A minute before the break Ramos nearly got a goal of his own when he cut inside at the top of the box only to fire right at the keeper.
An equalizer nearly came in first half stoppage time when OSA Seattle saw a well-paced ball deflect off a defender and immediately sent on goal by an attacker on a quick reaction shot. The effort, though, slipped wide right again.
Spokane saw several chances to pull away in the second half with Tanner Williams finding himself with the ball and plenty of space in the 59th and 62nd minutes only to have OSA Seattle keeper Jordan Hadden deny both.
OSA Seattle, though, did not give up and forced some great saves from Peter Byrne. In the 72nd minute a corner from the left was headed off the post. It ricocheted back across the goal mouth, eliciting a dramatic acrobatic save from Byrne to keep it from crossing the line. Several minutes later a lofted shot from distanced forced Byrne to stretch out and tip the ball over the bar to deny another goal.
With four minutes remaining Ramos found Williams for the clincher. He took the ball to the left side endline and looped a ball over the keeper, finding Williams for the point-blank finish.
The match was the first in the conference. PDX FC fell at home 2-1 to Crossfire Redmond Sunday. FCM Portland played earlier this week in the US Open Cup first round, but were eliminated by a Cal FC side loaded with former professionals.
Spokane now takes to the road for the first two of five consecutive road matches, facing PDX FC and FCM Portland in their Oregon swing.
Sponsors: The Spokane Shadow Men's First Teams program is proud to be supported by MultiCare Integrated Sports Medicine, adidas, Dairy Queen of Airway Heights, RH Cooke & Associates Real Estate, Prime Lending and Wolff, Hislop & Crockett Attorneys. If you are interested in becoming a supporting sponsor, please contact Nick Piger at email@example.com
Not Too Late!!... Become A Spokane Shadow Supporters Club Member!
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SPO: Ole Cloppenburg (Mike Ramos) 28
SPO: Tanner Williams (Mike Ramos) 86
Spokane: Peter Byrne; Ole Cloppenburg, Davis Auth, Bryan Maxwell, Ty Lang; Jesse Retan, Daniel Alvarez (David Uribe 79), Tanner Williams (Jay Weinman 90+); Mike Rojas, Mike Ramos (Joel Samayoa 90+), Jake Levine (Enzo Nalis 55)
OSA Seattle: Jordan Hadden, Valerio Anastasi, Richard Bedats, Cole Grimsby, Elliot Jones, Frederik Kleeman, John Magnus, Vittorio Sasso, Wesley Stark, Yonatan Tesfasilase, Malte Thesenvitz
Shadow U23s Tie Tri-Cities 1-1 on the Road
The regional foes were locked in a scoreless stalemate for over an hour before David Uribe, Ty Lang and Jake Levine combined to set up a scoring opportunity that Levine finished from Lang in the 65th minute. Eleven minutes later Luis Martinez tied things up for the hosts and the match ran out from there. The result keeps Spokane unbeaten through three (1-0-2) and atop the Rainier Conference by two points over a trio of teams. The team is idle for three weeks before returning to action June 15 at the Spokane Shadow Polo Fields against their other regional foe Yakima United.