Spokane builds early lead, holds on in heated 4-3 thriller
SPOKANE SHADOW NEWS RELEASE -- Saturday, June 13, 2015
Built from a pair of close games a year ago and a title race decided by a point on the final day, the Spokane Shadow and South Sound FC are quickly forging a heated cross-state rivalry. After a scoreless affair last Saturday, the two sides played to a completely different match this week in Spokane with the Shadow coming away with a 4-3 win that handed the visiting Shock their first defeat of the year.
The Shadow, however, remain in fourth as third-place Wenatchee, who hold a one point advantage, also picked up a big win Saturday night, downing league-leading Vancouver 1-0 to give them their first blemish of the season. With South Sound and Vancouver picking up their first losses, it puts the Shadow with them in a group of three teams that have only one loss so far this season.
Spokane came out and had the better of play in the early going, getting a dangerous chance six minutes in, but took the lead through Karl Muelheims (Whitworth / St George’s) scored the first of two on the night in the 12th minute when a series of quick passes up the right side sent Chance Bukoski streaking up the touchline. As he neared the final third he saw Muelheims in the middle and Zach Hamer (Gonzaga U / Mead) to the left and sent the ball into the area. The ball fell into an open area in the box, drawing out South Sound goalkeeper Chris Kintz, but Muelheims beat him to the ball, knocking it inside the left side of the goal.
In the 27th minute, Muelheims (pictured, left) doubled the lead on another great play from Bukoski (pictured, right), who flew up the right side chasing down the ball. Once he got to it, he rounded his defender and sent a low square ball into the area that Muelheims ran onto and one-timed past Kintz from about 13 yards.
“It was kind of weird,” Muelheims said of putting the Shadow up two early in the game. “To be honest, I thought the game would be a lot like last weekend where it was gonna be a low scoring game so when the second goal went in I thought we had the game.”
“It had been a long time since we'd been scored on so a 2-0 lead, I thought, should have been enough to win the game. Our defense doesn't usually give up goals but tonight we just looked a little off. Last week we got a result against South Sound because of our defense and this week we got it because of our offense.”
It looked like the Shadow were in firm control, but the team let it slip. The visitors cut into the deficit 11 minutes before the break when a throw-in from the right corner deflected in the box and found the head of Tyler John on the left side for the goal. Then, about 40 seconds into the second half, the Shock pulled even through Brandon Madsen on a ball from Danny Minniti, stunning the Shadow crowd of 307.
The hosts, though, wasted no time getting back in front. In the 51st minute Dustin Ferger (Gonzaga U / East Valley) sent a ball into the box and Hamer lifted the bouncing ball up over the charging keeper from about 17 yards out.
“Our team fought hard to get the result we did,” said Hamer. “I am always pleased when I can help get that job done. This was a team effort and although we had a few rough patches, we stuck together and pulled out a victory which is much needed.”
Madsen kept his side in the game, however, scoring to make things even again in the 63rd. He got the ball from Kellan Brown in the box and made a quick move to create a little space, firing in the equalizer from the right side from about 15 yards.
Tied 3-3, that’s when things really began to heat up as tempers began to really flare.
In the 76th minute Spokane nearly went back in front when Adam Talley (North Idaho College / East Valley) sent a shot off the post. Just over two minutes later, though, Talley would get that go-ahead goal from the spot amidst a lot of contention. He was sent to the spot in the 77th when he was fouled in the outer right corner of the box, drawing the ire of the visitors so much so that coach Adam Becker was ejected by the referee. After order was restored, Talley converted for what held as the winner.
The game was not over yet, though. With just over six minutes left Colton Ronk nearly tied things back up once again when he sent a ball on frame that defender Brady Ulen (North Idaho College / Post Falls) – much like Meghan Klingenberg did for the US Women’s National Team Friday evening against Sweden – headed a ball straight up off the line and into the crossbar and out to prevent a certain goal.
The victory, gave the Shadow the win in the season series following last week’s draw. It was a repeat of last year when the Shadow played to a 1-1 tie at South Sound and posted a 1-0 win at home.
Coming Up – Home Game – June 20
FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT: The upcoming game next Saturday will feature the Shadow playing host to Bellingham United, which currently sits in last place in the league with zero points (0-7-0) – All members of the area fire and police departments get in free with their work ID upon entry.
South Sound FC 3 :: 4 Spokane Shadow
SPO: Karl Muelheims (Chance Bukoski) 12
SPO: Karl Muelheims (Chance Bukoski) 27
SS: Tyler John 34
SS: Brandon Madsen (Danny Minniti) 46
SPO: Zach Hamer (Dustin Ferger) 51
SS: Brandon Madsen (Kellan Brown) 63
SPO: Adam Talley (pen) 78