Spokane finishes road record unbeaten; EPLWA title up for grabs in final two home games next weekend
SPOKANE SHADOW NEWS RELEASE -- Friday, July 11, 2014
Since opening the season with a pair of narrow home losses, the Spokane Shadow have literally been unbeatable in the Evergreen Premier League. They extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games Friday evening with a 1-0 victory against rival Yakima, wrapping up the road portion of their campaign with an impressive 6-0-1 away record. Adam Talley of North Idaho College and East Valley High School provided the dramatic winner in the 90th minute of the contest, moving the Shadow – who control their destiny - into first place in the EPLWA for the first time this season with two home games left July 19 and 20.
"Mike (Ramos) crossed a great ball. I couldn't have done it without him and the hard work of the team," Talley (pictured) said after the game of his second goal of the year. "The game was very hot and it was a tough battle. Just glad to get the points and be undefeated on the road."
Aside from busy play once again from Graison Le (Gonzaga U / Coeur d’Alene HS), the first half was a lackluster affair with the game picking up pace in the second half with a number of chances for both sides, including a few the Shadow put off the woodwork. Yakima goalkeeper Antonio Gonzalez deflected a Shadow header off the crossbar three minutes into the second half and then Spokane had two back-to-back near misses. Sam Engle (Whitworth U) nodded one off the post in the 70th and Talley swiped the outside of the post again two minutes later as the team began to force matters more and more as time wore on, including a series of corners in the final few minutes before the Shadow found the winner in the 90th from the run of play.
"I think it was Juan Valderrama (U of Great Falls) that got the ball to Mike and he did his thing to find some space and deliver the cross, and Adam was in the right spot at the back post for the header," said head coach Chad Brown of the goal. "Their goalkeeper did a good job all game, but Andrew Glaeser and our guys did the same... for 90 minutes in two games on back-to-back days."
It was the sixth assist of the season for Ramos (Seattle U / University HS), matching his team-leading goal total.
"I am really proud of the guys for what they did in the extreme weather conditions, fighting through the adversity of 97-plus degrees with little break from the sweltering heat - even at halftime. The guys believe in each other and what they are trying to do."
"We were pressing them," Brown said of the late flurry. "The guys did a good job being mentally tough and grinding it out. It was really hard conditions in back-to-back games plus weather that was just grueling. It was hot and hard to deal with."
"We are gonna enjoy this one for a day, and then get back at it on Tuesday (the team's usual first day of training). Hopefully, guys do good job taking care of their bodies with the recovery. They have worked hard to get to the top and now we've got two games to go. Seattle stole some points recently, so they are no slouches. We got a job to do."
Eight different players have scored the last nine goals for the Shadow, keeping the spotlight on the team's defensive performance. With the shutout, the Shadow defense has allowed just six goals in the last 10 games. The clean sheet was the third of the season for Glaeser (No. Illinois / Walla Walla HS), putting him one back of South Sound's Chris Kintz, who has been out with an injury of late. The team has five total to its record, the most in the league.
FINAL HOME GAMES – July 19 & 20
Fill the Falls – With the title on the line, the Shadow need everyone to bring their extended family and friends to both games at Spokane Falls CC Stadium on the final weekend of the season to help cheer them onto the championship. The game Saturday, July 19 kicks off at 7:00 pm versus the Seattle Stars and the season finale Sunday, July 20 against Wenatchee begins at 5:00 pm. Family-friendly tailgating begins two hours prior to kickoff and the gates open one hour prior. Plus… rumor has it the Candy Rush may be back again!
Spokane Shadow 1-0 Yakima United
SPO: Adam Talley (Mike Ramos) 90
Updated Standings (full table)
Spokane... 8-2-2... 26 pts (32 possible)
South Sound... 8-3-1... 25 pts (31 possible)
Vancouver... 8-4-1... 25 pts (28 possible)
Bellingham... 6-5-1... 19 pts
Yakima... 5-8-1... 16 pts
Wenatchee... 5-7-0... 15 pts
Seattle... 4-7-1... 13 pts
WestSound... 2-10-1... 7 pts
EPLWA Remaining Schedule
Saturday, July 12
- Seattle @ Bellingham
- Wenatchee @ WestSound
Friday, July 18
- South Sound @ Bellingham
Saturday, July 19
- Seattle @ Spokane
Sunday, July 20
- South Sound @ Vancouver
- Wenatchee @ Spokane