BELLINGHAM, WA – (Artesians release) Brendan Quilici scored twice and Tye Hastings took advantage of a double power play to score what proved to be the game winner in Bellingham United’s 7-5 win over the Oly Town Artesians at the Bellingham Sportsplex on Saturday night. 14 fouls and five blue cards called against the Artesians proved to be the difference as three of Bellingham’s four goals in the second half came with Oly a man down.
With the Oly Town roster depleted by injuries and the holidays, a newcomer started the night off for the Artesians. Tanner Williams made his debut and quickly put Oly up 1-0 on his first shift of the season three minutes into the first quarter. But Bellingham United answered back three minutes later on a rocket by Brendan Quilici that Artesians keeper Clint Lothrop had no chance at stopping. Williams again put himself on the score sheet with an assist on a goal by Justin La Torre that gave Oly a 2-1 lead through the first 15 minutes of play.
The Hammers took a 3-2 lead with a pair of goals midway through the second quarter. The first goal was credited to Kenny Parker after the ball took a deflection and slowly rolled into the corner of the goal and Gabriele Zaccagnini put Bellingham up with a goal at the 4:55 mark. Two more newcomers brought Oly level when Nate Boatright’s pass across the box was easily volleyed past Bellingham keeper Keegan Rogers by George Bundy and the half ended in a tie, 3-3.
Things looked bleak for the Artesians in the third quarter after Chris Jepson and Quilici scored a pair of goals early to start the second half. Quilici’s goal came on the restart after the Artesians were issued a blue card and put the Hammers up 5-3 with 11:19 left in the period. Nate Salveson chipped into the two goal lead with a shot off of a free kick that just got a piece of the post and ricocheted into the goal. Then with one second left, Willie Spurr scored his fifth goal of the season to pull Oly even as the horn sounded to signal the close of the third.
But the fouls mounted in the second half and a tired Artesians team couldn’t keep up shorthanded. Following a blue card for the Artesians 12th foul and another blue card on a sliding foul, Bellingham played 5-on-3 soccer for over a minute. As the first penalty came to a close and Willie Spurr sprinted onto the field, Tye Hastings launched a shot from long distance that just inched under the crossbar to put Bellingham up 6-5 with 6:33 left to play. Kellan Brown added another goal two minutes later and the Hammers held on to a 7-5 victory and moved into second place in the Western Indoor Soccer League.
Both teams played without one of their top goal scorers. Matt Stalnik (four goals) is out for the season with a torn ACL after his injury in the Artesians’ win at Arlington last week and Andrew Weishaar (five goals) did not play for Bellingham United.
The Hammers moved to 2-1-1 halfway through the WISL’s inaugural season. They sit in second place with seven points, one point ahead of the Artesians and five points behind the Tacoma Stars, who romped past Arlington in Tacoma tonight.
The Artesians fell to 2-2-0 with six points in their first season and sit in third place in the league ahead of the idle Wenatchee Fire (4 points). The Arlington Aviators are mired in last place at 0-4-0 after their loss to the Stars tonight. Four of the five WISL teams make the playoffs.
The holiday season is upon us and the Oly Town Artesians and the WISL will take a two week break. The Artesians will get a rematch with Bellingham United at Olympia Indoor Soccer on Saturday, January 3rd. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM, doors open at 5:00 PM. Advance tickets are available at http://www.olytownfc.com or by calling (360) 561-7252