Fans will be glad to hear that it is indeed possible for the home side to win in the EPLWA. After 8 straight winless attempts a home side got a “W” on Sunday afternoon as Vancouver Victory FC beat Bellingham United 4-1 at McKenzie Stadium. The tendency returned just an hour later though as Wenatchee FC broke through for their first win of 2015 in Bremerton against the Olympic Force, also with a 4-1 scoreline. How are visitors fairing after 11 league matches? 7 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses.
VANCOUVER, WA—(Match release by V2FC) Vancouver Victory FC moved to 3-0-0 in EPLWA league play after a 4-1 victory over visiting Bellingham United (0-0-3) on a warm Mother’s Day at McKenzie Stadium. The Hammers opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Tyler Bjork scored on a put back shot off of a save by V2FC keeper Arne Niermann. Bellingham controlled good portions of the first 25 minutes and pressed the home side on a few occasions. The Victory evened up the score on a penalty kick awarded off of a called hand ball in the box. Timur Zhividze slotted the shot in and the teams were tied going into the break.
V2FC came out in the 2nd half and pressed more. In the 51st minute, Mikhail Doholis broke through the left side of the Hammers defense on a ball slotted through by Zhividze and slipped his shot below BUFC keeper Riley Liddle putting the home side up 2-1. Seventeen minutes later the Victory were awarded a free kick just outside the Bellingham box. Kemar Prince scored in the 68th minute when his free kick deflected off of the wall and hit the net just inside the far post.
Up 3-1, the home side put the game to rest in the 77th minute with a nice side volley by Alex Segovia from 14 yards out. The goal was set up by Doholis crossing the ball from the right side to Segovia who calmly waited on the ball before using a nice piece of skill to rope the ball in for the 4-1 lead. The win moves the Victory into sole possession of first place in the EPLWA standings with 9 points of 9 possible.
Before the match, team owner Barrett Goddard visited the Hammers locker room to welcome Vancouver native Brendan Quilici who currently plays for the visiting side. “It was great to say hi to Brendan and welcome him home. I remember watching him as a gym rat at his family’s
indoor center at 11-12 years old,” reminisced Goddard. Quilici has played for the Hammers the past few years after playing and coaching at Western Washington University.
After the match Victory Head Coach Aaron Lewis was cautiously pleased with his team’s performance especially in the second half, “I was pleased with how our team was able to increase the tempo in the second half. The combination of our depth, and speed of play, seemed to wear down Bellingham as the match went on.”
Assistant Coach Sunny Dulai agreed, “I’m very pleased to see the boys bounce back in a positive way after a slow start and going behind in the match. They showed good character to keep their heads and focus on their style of play.”
The Victory were bolstered by new additions to the roster. Former Portland Timber U23 player/coach Tracy Hasson was added to the roster this week along with three players from Oregon State University: Doholis, Segovia and Zach Striar. The four had an immediate impact on the game. Lewis was also pleased with the new players, “It was great to see our new additions fit in well today and make significant contributions. I’ve been impressed with our players’ ability to blend together in very short order.”
The game was played in front of a Mother’s Day crowd of 360 for V2FC’s league opener. It was also Muchas Gracias Day in honor of the team’s primary sponsor, Muchas Gracias Mexican Food. The team honored Muchas Gracias owner Roldofo Sanchez along with his son Victor Sanchez at halftime by giving the sponsors authentic V2FC team jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.
The Victory travel to Spokane May 16 to take on the league champions in a rematch of their 1-1 draw in Spokane last year. Bellingham comes back down I-5, but not as far, to play at Seattle on Saturday.
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BREMERTON, WA— Wenatchee FC (1-2-0, 3 points) got a first half hat trick from Eleazar Galvan to beat the Olympic Force (0-2-0, 0 points) on Sunay May 10 at Gordon Field. Galvan also assisted on a stoppage time goal by Matheus Correa. Izzy Deluna scored the Force’s goal.
MATCH GALLERY: by David Falk.
Two teams searching for their first win of the season battled it out under sunny Mothers Day skies. Early on Wenatchee FC showed they wanted the three points. Galvan’s first goal came only three-plus minutes into the match. He finished a through ball from Eduardo Perez in tight quarters around the left side of the six yard box.
Only few minutes later in the 10th minute it was 2-0 for the Capitals when Galvan intercepted a Force pass on the right, made one move into the penalty area, then shot across the goal mouth to the far corner.
Eleazar’s onslaught was complete in the 22nd minute when he returned to the left flank. This time he beat his defender and hit one near post. It was already 3-0 Wenatchee FC.
The Force stablized their play and then gained a bit of momentum back when Izzy Deluna collected a loos ball and hit the rofo of the Wenatchee goal from the left side at close range in the 41st minute.
The second half was largely uneventful. The Force raised their voices mutliple times to the lead referee accusing Wenatchee of time wasting. There were slowly taken throwins and numerous injury stoppages. In the end the official added just four minutes of time, much to the disagreement of the Olympic bench. In added time Galvan was still speedy, and his final run up the field produced Wenatchee’s fourth goal when Matheus Correa converted in the 91st.
The Force host South Sound FC Friday night at Gordon Field. Wenatchee FC hosts Central Washington rivals Yakima United FC on Sunday at Wenatchee Valley CC.