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West Roundup — Spokane wins debut

By Thomas Clark, 05/21/19, 6:00AM CDT


In its debut WPSL match, Spokane SC Shadow was looking to prove it belonged in the league.


The Shadow certainly proved itself worthy with a commanding 2-0 win over the visiting Vancouver Island FC, also making its WPSL debut. 


The Shadow pressured the Vancouver Island defense from the opening whistle and broke through with Megan Lindsay’s goal in the 26th minute. Vancouver Island fought hard throughout the entirety of the match and had a number of dangerous offensive possessions, but Chloe Williams provided Spokane with the insurance goal they needed in the 85th minute to walk off the pitch with a week one victory.


“Winning our first ever WPSL game at home was massive for us,” Shadow coach Kevin Moon said. “Never having played a game at this level, we were unsure of what to expect. We were very happy with the result and our overall performance.”


The win would not have been possible without a stellar performance from goalkeeper Alisa Crooks. Crooks made a number of impressive diving saves to hold onto the shutout.


The victory marked a new era for women’s soccer in Spokane, for more than 500 fans came out to watch the Shadow in its debut. Moon was ecstatic to get the win but recognized the fact that the Shadow will face adversity throughout the season.


“Our collective goal is to learn about the league and to learn about each other,” Moon said. “We recognize that the WPSL is a step up in competition to what we saw in the past, so we know we will be facing well-coached teams with high quality players in every game we play.”



Myers Coasting in San Diego


While most teams made their WPSL season debuts this weekend, the San Diego Surf were playing in its second conference match.


In its first match of the season, the Surf beat ASC San Diego in a wild 4-3 game that featured two of the most powerful offenses in the entire league.


Then on Saturday, the Surf officially established itself as a championship contender defeating the cross-town San Diego Parceiro Ladies by a commanding score of 8-1. Forward Molly Myers has carried the Surf in both matches. The five-foot-three forward has been an absolute menace, scoring in both of its games thus far this season.


On Saturday, she alone tallied four goals while contributing to a dominant display of offensive possession. Even more impressive is the fact that Myers has yet to turn 19. The rest of the region should be on notice.



Golden State FC Win in Dramatic Fashion


Golden State FC started its WPSL campaign off with a bang.


The Golden State attack was too much to handle for Beach Futbol Club’s defensive line en route to a wild 3-2 win in its WPSL debut. 


What made this match notable was the type of goals that were scored. In the second minute, Dyanne Valdez received a fantastic ball from midfielder Jazmin Aguas. Rather than taking a touch, Valdez let the ball roll onto her right foot, and struck the ball over the outstretched arms of Beach FC goalkeeper Brooke Littman. The ball hit the crossbar and ricocheted down into the net.


Beach FC certainly made things interesting for Golden State. Nadia Link capitalized on a breakaway in the 16th minute, dribbled around Golden State goalkeeper Christina Holguin and placed a driven shot into the net.


While Golden State controlled much of the possession, Beach FC relied on strong counter attacks and press play by its forwards. In the 73rd minute its pressing paid off, for its forced an error from Golden State’s backline resulting in an own goal.


Facing a one-goal deficit, Golden State FC ramped up its offensive pressure. After earning a corner kick, the Beach FC defensive line was able to clear only the ball out 30 yards out. With time and space, Jennifer Rivera juked a defensive player and launched an absolute strike to the far post. The ball again went off the woodwork before landing in the back of the net.


Rivera’s strike tied the game up at two the 86th minute, but Golden State was not finished.  In the 88th minute, Valdez found herself in space on the left-wing and sent a perfectly flighted ball to a sprinting Madison Bennett. With defensive pressure on her back, Bennett struck the ball with one touch and sent a devastating half-volley past Holguin. Golden State ultimately held on to secure the victory and exited the first week of league play unscathed.

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