Week 3 Recap: Yakima, Blackhills Pick Up Saturday Wins

Yakima United 3, Vancouver Victory 2

Natalie Nagle scored the game winner in the 87th minute to lead Yakima United to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Victory at SOZO Sports in Yakima on Saturday afternoon. The game was a back and forth affair with Vancouver’s Maddie Goss striking first in the 19th minute. Six minutes later, Yakima equalized when Isabelle Moultray found Gillian Martin for a goal in the 25th minute. The two teams went to the break knotted up at one.

Vancouver jumped out to a lead right away in the second half with Chloe Harris giving the Victory their second goal in the 49th minute. But the Hoppers had the answer 13 minutes later with Delaney Romero’s equalizer from Martin in the 62nd minute. The two teams battled for the next 25 minutes until Nagle struck with the game winner in the 87th to give Yakima their second win of the season.

Both Vancouver and Yakima moved to 2-1-0 at the halfway point of the NWPL season.


GOALS: ’19 – Maddie Goss – Vancouver, ’25 – Gillian Martin (Isabelle Moultray) – Yakima, ’49 – Chloe Harris – Vancouver, ’62 – Delaney Romero (Martin) – Yakima, ’87 – Natalie Nagle – Yakima

Blackhills FC 3, AC Chehalem Valley 0

Niki Covert scored twice and Lyric Tinnel kept a clean sheet and Blackhills picked up their second win of the season with a 3-0 win over AC Chehalem Valley in Newberg on Saturday night. Madison Spenker struck first for Blackhills in the first half off a pass from Payton Aselton. Covert scored both of her goals in the second half, her first coming in the 59th minute with an assist by Jocelyn Charette and her second in the 70th minute with an assist from Spenker.

Blackhills moved to 2-1-0 this season while AC Chehalem Valley are still looking for their first win at 0-3-0.


GOALS: Madison Spenker (Payton Aselton) – Blackhills, ’59 – Niki Covert (Jocelyn Charette) – Blackhills, ’70 – Covert (Spenker) – Blackhills

Players Of Week 2: Penner and Sadler

Defensive:

Lulu Sadler – Vancouver: The Vancouver Victory took an early lead in the Northwest Premier League table thanks to a 3-1 win over Yakima United. Camas native Lulu Sadler was instrumental as an outside back in shutting down Yakima’s attack and added a goal of her own in a solid performance for the Victory.

Offensive:

Caroline Penner – Blackhills: Blackhills FC picked up their first win of the new season on Saturday with a 5-2 win over AC Chehalem Valley. Caroline Penner, a junior at Capital High School, scored twice on her home field and created goal scoring opportunities for her teammates.

Other Nominees:

Defensive: Landrey McCann (Blackhills)

Offensive: Lauren Robideau (Chehalem Valley), Rachel Anderson (Vancouver)

Week 2 Recap: Blackhills and Vancouver Take The Spoils

AC Chehalem Valley’s first road squad

Blackhills 5, AC Chehalem Valley 2

A freewheeling first half featured goals by Jocelyn Charette and Mel Alvarado that gave Blackhills a 2-0 lead before AC Chehalem Valley answered back with strikes by Maria Frias and Lauren Robideau tied the game, 2-2, in the 43rd. But Blackhills answered right back with a goal a minute later and would add two more in the second half to take the win, 5-2. Caroline Penner scored what proved to be the game winner in the 44th and added another in the 60th and Claire Fleckstein added the insurance goal in the 70th.

GOALS: ‘8 – Jocelyn Charette – Blackhills, ’28 – Mel Alvarado – Blackhills, ’39 – Maria Frias – Chehalem, ’43 – Lauren Robideau – Chehalem, ’44 – Caroline Penner (Liz Clemens) – Blackhills, ’60 – Caroline Penner (Landrey McCann) – Blackhills, ’70 – Claire Fleckstein (Lauren Forster) – Blackhills


Vancouver Victory 3, Yakima United 2

The Vancouver Victory moved to 2-0-0 in the Northwest Premier League after goals by Maya Davis, Paige German and a penalty kick by Lulu Sadler led to a 3-1 win at Harmony Sports in Vancouver. Lauryn Peters scored the lone goal for Yakima.

GOALS (no minutes reported): Maya Davis (Olivia Fothergill) – Vancouver, Paige German (Rachel Anderson) – Vancouver, Lulu Sadler (PK) – Vancouver, Lauryn Peters (Natalie Nagle) – Yakima

Players Of Week 1: McClellan and Terrill

Defensive:

Makenna McClellan – Vancouver: Vancouver played their first game under the Victory moniker and Warner Pacific alum Makenna McClellan made seven saves in a solid performance that finished in a 1-0 shutout victory over AC Chehalem Valley.

Offensive:

Grace Terrill – Yakima: Grace Terrill scored in the 6th, 16th, 79th and 84th minutes to lead Yakima to a resounding 5-1 win over Blackhills. Terrill, a Ronald, Washington native who plays collegiately at Eastern Washington University, scored her four goals on road in Olympia.

Other Nominees:

Defensive: Eleanor Schmid (Vancouver), Jordyn Jolley (Yakima)

Week 1 Recap: Vancouver Victorious, Yakima Wins Big

Vancouver Victory 1, AC Chehalem Valley 0

AC Chehalem Valley made their long awaited debut in the Northwest Premier League against the Vancouver Victory, who were playing their first game under a new moniker after playing as the Washington Timbers previously. Vancouver got the better of the two new squads on Saturday in Newberg, Oregon with a goal by Olivia Forturgall in the 21st minute. It was the lone goal scored against Chehalem Valley’s Enya Hernandez but she was bested by Vancouver’s Makenna McClellan, who posted a shutout in her season debut.

GOALS: ’21 – Olivia Fortugall – Vancouver


Yakima United 5, Blackhills 1

Grace Terrill scored four times to lead Yakima United to a 5-1 win over Blackhills in Olympia on Saturday afternoon. 2017 and 2019 NWPL Golden Boot winner Lauryn Peters added a goal to push her career total to 26 goals over four seasons. Terrill started the scoring quickly with goals in the 6th and 16th minutes before Hallie Bergford made it a one goal game in the 44th. But Peters made it 3-1 five minutes into the second half and then Terrill exploded for two more goals down the stretch to finish Blackhills off.

GOALS: ‘6 – Grace Terrill – Yakima, ’16 – Terrill – Yakima, ’44 – Hallie Bergford – Blackhills, ’50 – Lauryn Peters – Yakima, ’79 – Terrill – Yakima, ’84 – Terrill (PK) – Yakima

Northwest Premier League Releases 2021 Schedule

The Northwest Premier League will play a 2021 season with four teams participating, playing six games each beginning on Saturday, June 5th. The season will wrap up on Saturday, July 24th and the team with the best record at the end of the season will be crowned champion.

The four teams participating in the abbreviated season are AC Chehalem Valley, Blackhills FC, Vancouver Victory and Yakima United. All four teams kick off the season on June 5th with a home game for Blackhills against Yakima in Olympia and the long awaited first league home game for AC Chehalem Valley against Vancouver.

Capital FC Atletica, Crossfire United, Oly-Pen Force, Seattle Stars, Twin City Union, Washington Premier have all elected to sit out the 2021 season and will be welcomed back in 2022.

To see the full schedule, click here.

Northwest Premier League Cancels 2020 Season

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Northwest Premier League member clubs voted unanimously on Thursday afternoon to cancel the 2020 season due to complications and obstacles related to COVID-19. We are saddened to make this announcement, but after thoughtful consideration by league members, the health and safety of our players, staff, supporters, league referees and the community in general comes first and the restrictions put on all of us would make it challenging to conduct our season and maintain the quality product the NWPL is known for.

NWPL clubs would like to say thank you to everybody in the Northwest doing their part to fight the spread of this virus, from medical professionals, to grocery store workers, delivery drivers and others providing essential services and to everybody practicing social distancing during this trying time. We will be back in 2021 to provide you with premier amateur women’s soccer across Washington and Oregon.

Stay home, stay healthy, and take care.

NWPL Coronavirus/COVID-19 Statement

The Northwest Premier League (“NWPL”), an elite, adult, amateur women’s soccer league in Washington and Oregon, continues to monitor the Coronavirus situation within our states and throughout our country. We are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure the safety of our players, staff and surrounding communities. The NWPL is also dedicated to providing a place for our local and collegiate players to play and improve their abilities during the summer. With these two concerns as our focus, and in following our current governmental mandates, we are suspending the start of the NWPL season with the hopes of being able to play a modified 2020 season. We will continue to monitor the situation and update our league and our fans with any new information as it develops.

In the meantime, it is important to all of us to not only stay safe but that we are able to support our local communities. Please feel free to reach out to your local club with questions and comments and we will do what we can to support everyone within the league and within the local communities.

Washington Timbers To Compete As Vancouver Victory, Name Westermann Head Coach

Northwest Premier League founding member and 2017 NWPL champion Washington Timbers FC announced earlier this month that the team will compete as the Vancouver Victory, joining the Evergreen Premier League men’s team under the Victory badge. Here is the press release from the Timbers/Victory…

The Washington Timbers Women’s First team will now be known as the Vancouver Victory Women joining the Victory Men and the Victory Northern Alliance under the Victory badge. Created in 2017 as founding members of the NW Premier League (NWPL), the Women’s first team provides the highest level of play for female soccer players in SW Washington.

The Women’s first team has a fantastic record of success and looks to build upon that success as the Victory Women. Winning the championship in the inaugural NWPL season and reaching the finals the following year was the ideal way to set the standard for this group.

Victory General Manager and Washington Timbers Executive Director Sean Janson has this to say about the new name, “The arrival of the Victory men to our community in 2014 brought forth a new opportunity for amateur players to compete at the highest level in SW Washington. Having coached for the Victory from 2014-2016 I knew first hand of the quality of play and players involved. It was an easy decision to bring in the Women’s team when the NWPL started in 2017. Having the women under the Victory badge will streamline many processes and strengthen the Victory brand. In addition, we’re also very pleased to add the Northern Alliance men’s team under the Victory umbrella as well.”

As the only jersey sponsor the Victory have ever known, Muchas Gracias Mexican Food will now also sponsor the Women’s and Northern Alliance squads. Their support is a driving factor behind the expansion of the Victory brand and the strengthening of elite amateur soccer in SW Washington.

The Victory also announced that Warner Pacific head coach Josh Westermann  has been named to the same position with the Victory women. Previous to his stint in Portland, he spent five years as an assistant at San Diego Christian and was an assistant coach on the Kenyan Women’s National Team.

“(I am) overwhelmed and humbled by this opportunity,” said Westermann, “A special thanks to Sean Janson and the Vancouver Victory for bringing me on board. Looking forward to offering a great experience to many aspiring and current college players at this high level”.

The Victory will host an open tryout on April 17th from 7:00-8:30 at the Harmony Sports Complex.

Crossfire United Named 10th Northwest Premier League Club

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Northwest Premier League is proud to announce our third team in the great State of Oregon and second new club for the 2020 season, Crossfire United. Oregon’s top-ranked ECNL program will expand their program to take on a new challenge and give their players and alumni a new opportunity during the summer. The team will play their home games out of Mountain View Champions Park in Aloha.

“Being a part of the Northwest Premier League enables a place for our players and alumni to come back and play in a environment that will prepare them and keep them sharp for college,” said Crossfire United Director of Programs Kevin Legg.

“We have been successful in the ECNL platform so I am excited to see how our girls compete together with the different ages and expect it to be a challenging yet exciting season.”

Alumni of the Crossfire United program play at schools such as the University of Oregon, Oregon State, Stony Brook University, the University of Nevada Reno, amongst others.

Crossfire United is the elite division for Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club and was formed as a partnership between Crossfire Oregon and THUSC. They will play their home games at Mountain View Champions Park in Aloha, which features two turf fields, restrooms and concessions.

You can follow Crossfire United by visiting their website at www.crossfireunitedecnl.com, like them on Facebook at FB.com/CrossfireUnitedECNL or follow them on Twitter at @CrossfireUnited

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ABOUT THE NORTHWEST PREMIER LEAGUE: The Northwest Premier League (NWPL) is an elite, adult, amateur women’s soccer league featuring Northwest clubs across the states of Washington and Oregon. The league currently sits at ten clubs: AC Chehalem Valley (Newberg, OR), Blackhills FC (Olympia, WA), Capital FC Atletica (Salem, OR), Crossfire United (Aloha, OR), Oly-Pen Force (Bremerton, WA), Seattle Stars, Twin City Union (Centralia, WA), Washington Premier (Puyallup, WA), Washington Timbers (Vancouver, WA), Yakima United. The Seattle Stars are the two time defending champions.

AC Chehalem Valley Joins Northwest Premier League

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Northwest Premier League is proud to announce that the league will be expanding for the 2020 season and that AC Chehalem Valley of Newberg, Oregon has been named the ninth NWPL club. Chehalem Valley joins Capital FC Atletica as the second club in the State of Oregon and has already made a mark in the soccer world with their active social media presence and focus on philanthropy in Newberg and beyond.

“For AC Chehalem Valley, and our fast-growing following, this is incredibly exciting,” said club Founder Joshua Duder. “While Portland is well-known for its soccer pedigree and for being the epicenter of support in Oregon, our region which is only 45 minutes south by southwest, is home to several independent youth organizations and has a unique soccer culture which we hope to showcase. The girls and women involved at club, high school, and college level soccer here, are champing at the bit to show off what representing Yamhill County and the Chehalem Valley means to them.”

Chehalem Valley will play their home games at Newberg High School. The high school’s stadium has covered seating, a large press box, a concessions stand, restrooms, locker rooms, and a new turf field. With a spot in the league and a place to call home, the club will now focus on building their 2020 team with ambitious but realistic goals.

“I don’t think any sporting organization goes into a season not hoping for the very best,” continued Duder, “But there are some very well-built clubs in the league and we may be a year or two away from competing for the title; however, the playoffs are always within reach and I think setting that as a goal is perfectly acceptable. We’ve watched the league keenly for a few years, but expect an entirely different experience now that we’re no longer on the outside looking in.”

Founded as an independent, non-profit club with the mission of “using sport to improve the physical and mental wellness of women in our community,” the club has already made connections with other non-profits including The Sports Bra Project to collect brand new equipment for girls and women who might not otherwise be able to play sports without it. They also teamed up with other bird-branded football clubs to raise money for the National Audobon Society. And the team has worked hard to get off the ground and ensure they will be around for years to come.

“Our primary sponsor is First Federal Savings & Loan, who agree with our sentiment of taking care of our community first,” said Duder. “And they’ve teamed-up with Puma to ensure the club is outfitted and that thousands of dollars of seed money is available.” Our aim is to provide a competitive squad for women to extend their athletic careers, but also to make the world a better place.”

Follow AC Chehalem Valley as their prepare for their inuagural Northwest Premier League season by visiting their website at acchehalemvalley.com, like them on Facebook at FB.com/ACCVSheFlies, or follow them on Twitter @ACCV_SheFlies

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ABOUT THE NORTHWEST PREMIER LEAGUE: The Northwest Premier League (NWPL) is an elite, adult, amateur women’s soccer league featuring Northwest clubs across the states of Washington and Oregon. The league currently sits at nine clubs: AC Chehalem Valley (Newberg, OR), Blackhills FC (Olympia, WA), Capital FC Atletica (Salem, OR), Oly-Pen Force (Bremerton, WA), Seattle Stars, Twin City Union (Centralia, WA), Washington Premier (Puyallup, WA), Washington Timbers (Vancouver, WA), Yakima United. The Seattle Stars are the two time defending champions.

NWPL Announces 2019 Season Awards

The Northwest Premier League held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday afternoon at Well 80 Brewhouse in downtown Olympia and announced four awards for the 2019 season as voted on by league members: Golden Boot, Golden Gloves, Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

Whitney Pitalo

IMG_0205 (1)Player of the Year: Whitney Pitalo (Capital FC Atletica)The founder, director and captain of the Capital FC Atletica program, Whitney Pitalo took on even more responsibility this season as a goal scorer. Needing to replace the firepower of Laadi Issaka, Pitalo stepped up and scored seven regular season goals, finishing in a tie for second place with Washington Premier’s Angela Celedon. But her versatility is what impressed coaches the most and earned her the NWPL’s 2019 Player of the Year playing all over the field and leading her team to a 7-1-0 regular season finish and a championship game appearance.

The South Salem High School alum and University of Southern California defender played wherever she was needed during the 2019 season. She earned an Offensive Player of the Week Award in week five with a two goal, one assist performance in a 4-1 win over the Oly-Pen Force. Her performance on the field was impressive, especially when combined with her leadership of the club, and of course, when asked about her Player of the Year Award, she extolled the virtues of her club and community rather than speak about herself.

“This year with an amazing World Cup we had a lot of extra attention to draw on, but I believe women’s soccer was already on the rise,” said Pitalo. “In our third year, we had many more supporters and volunteers. The World Cup felt like a celebration of where women’s soccer has come and where it’s going. I think that’s when I started to realize that it’s not just players who loves the game, but the community wants to be a part of it. It was a special year and I only see growth from here.”

Pitalo will take her experience building Capital FC Atletica to Roseburg this fall as their new Assistant Athletic Director and she will be involved in founding the new Umpqua Community College women’s soccer program. While she doesn’t rule out coming back and playing for CFC if her schedule permits, it is possible that she will bow out on top with the league’s top award.

Lauryn Peters

Golden Boot: Lauryn Peters (Yakima United) – 2017’s Golden Boot winner and Player of the Year, Lauryn Peters, did it again and ran away with the 2019 Golden Boot Award, scoring 12 goals in the six regular season games that she played in, leading the Hoppers to their best record as a club (5-3-0), their first home playoff game, and their first playoff win.

Peters, a Yakima native and West Valley High School product, returned home from college at Western Illinois early in the morning on Sunday, May 12th and made her first appearance for United just hours later contributing two goals including what proved to be the game winner in their 4-2 win over the Washington Timbers. A week later, Peters scored four times to earn Player of the Week for week three. She won the award again in week eight after a three goal weekend.

“Lauryn has proven herself to be one of the most dangerous forwards in the league,” said Yakima head coach Josh Vega. “And the truth is she’s so much than just a goal scorer. She’s one of the real leaders on our team.”

Her 12 goals in 2019 brings her grand total in Northwest Premier League action up to 26, where she comfortably has the record for most career goals. A junior at NCAA Division I Western Illinois, she has played every single minute of the Leathernecks first five games.

Makenzie Pineda with teammates

Golden Gloves: Makenzie Pineda (Capital FC Atletica) – By posting three shutouts over Capital FC Atletica’s first five games, and allowing just two goals during that time en route to a 5-0-0 start, Makenzie Pineda earned the NWPL’s 2019 Golden Gloves Award for the first time.

Pineda, an American Fork, Utah native and BYU-Hawaii alum that is also the goalkeeping coach for Capital FC Timbers youth program, held down the roll for the first five games of the season before a family vacation took her away from the team and other commitments made her unavailable for Sunday games. According to CFC Director and teammate Whitney Pitalo, she very much wanted to play in the playoffs but was not available because their playoff games were scheduled on Sundays. In just those five games, Pineda tied for the league lead in shutouts with Washington Premier’s Kyla Carter.

“Playing for your teammates, coaches, family, club, school, or community is much more FUN than playing for yourself,” said Pineda.

Josh Vega with NWPL President Micah McMonagle

Coach of the Year: Josh Vega (Yakima United) – The only remaining original Northwest Premier League coach, Yakima United’s Josh Vega put together his squad’s best season and first playoff win and earned the 2019 NWPL Coach of the Year Award for the first time.

Yakima United finished the season with a 5-3-0 record and a fourth place regular season finish and hosted their first playoff game, knocking off the Twin City Union to advance to the semifinals. It has been a natural progression for Vega and the Hoppers. They finished 4-5-3 in the first season of the NWPL and then followed that up with two three win seasons despite seeing improvement every year.

This season, Vega’s squad put it all together despite the challenges that go with playing in Yakima. For example: Yakima Valley College’s Sophie Painter won the Defensive Player of the Week award in week three and promptly left the club once school ended to return home on the west side of the state. But Vega and United built the depth and the talent this season necessary to withstand losses and were able to back up Lauryn Peters’ outstanding offensive season with a solid defense that gave up just 13 goals, their least as a club in four seasons.

“I’m very honored to be awarded the Coach of the Year Award,” said Vega. “We had a great season, our best yet, so obviously people will recognize the progress we’ve built over our four seasons. I’m just really happy to be a part of this league and coaching this group of great women from all over our valley.”

Vega has a lot on his plate with United.  He has to juggle coaching the Yakima women with directing the whole Hoppers club with dealing with the registration for the NWPL and EPLWA in his role with the Washington State Adult Soccer Association.

PHOTO GALLERY: Stars Repeat As NWPL Champions

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The Seattle Stars knocked off Capital FC Athletica 4-0 on Sunday afternoon to win their second straight Northwest Premier League championship. It was a great afternoon of soccer at French Field in Kent with the two best teams, one from the north and one from the south, representing the league. Isabella Castro was named the Finals MVP with two goals for Seattle, who have now won 20 straight games dating back to the beginning of the 2018 season. Read the full recap of the final here.

– Click here to see the full photo gallery>

Seattle Stars Repeat As NWPL Champions With 4-0 Win Over Capital FC

KENT, Wash. – Isabella Castro came off the bench to score two goals to lead the Seattle Stars to their second Northwest Premier League championship in as many seasons with a 4-0 win over Capital FC Atletica on Sunday afternoon at French Field. Stars goalkeeper Drew Moulton picked up the shutout and the Stars finished off a second straight unbeaten season with another trophy.

The game was delayed nearly 30 minutes due to travel issues for Capital FC, but out of the box, Atletica looked like the aggressor dominating possession for the first 15 minutes of play. But Seattle got their bearings and it was a former Capital FC forward Rita Okoro who put the Stars on top with a bullet from the top of the box in the 20th minute.

On a hot day with the temperature on the turf at French Field reaching nearly 100 degrees, the referee stopped play for a water break in the 25th minute. Almost immediately after play resumed, Isabella Castro unleashed a shot that looked to be heading wide of the goal that somehow spun on frame, barely caught the post and ricocheted into the net for the Stars second goal of the game. The University of Washington senior then scored her second goal just seven minutes later to give the Stars a 3-0 in the 35th minute. For her two goal performance, Castro was named the Finals Most Valuable Player.

Isabella Castro gets her MVP award

Capital FC goalkeeper Alyssa Flores, making her first start of the season, kept the game close with numerous big saves on shots that could have blown the game wide open at any time in the first half. With her keeping the lead to just three goals at the start of the second half, Capital again started off by dominating possession, generating a handful of opportunities against the vaunted Stars defense.

But without anything to show for it and frustration mounting, the Stars turned it on again and made Flores make another couple of outstanding saves before Morgan Castain drove one past her in the 72nd minute to cap off the scoring. Capital could not mount a late comeback and Seattle finished off the shutout to win the championship, 4-0.

The new NWPL Championship trophy, by The Woodcraft Studio

Led by head coach Chris Wells, the Seattle Stars have now won 20 straight games since their 2017 championship game loss to the Washington Timbers and have allowed just six goals in the process. They have outscored their opponents by 61 goals during their two championship seasons.

Capital FC Atletica finished their season with eight regular season and playoff wins and just two losses, both of them coming to the Stars at French Field.

Capital FC Atletica, 2019 Finalists

Seattle Stars goals: Isabella Castro (’28 & ’35), Rita Okoro (’20), Morgan Castain (’72)
Capital FC Atletica goals: None

PREVIEW: Seattle Stars Host Capital FC Atletica For NWPL Title

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The Northwest Premier League caps the 2019 season with a fantastic matchup between the #1 seed Seattle Stars and #2 seed Capital FC Atletica. The two teams met once in the regular season with Capital FC taking an early lead at French Field on June 22nd before Seattle scored twice in the second half to take the 2-1 win.

So how did each team get here? Let’s take a look at the two teams…

Click here to read the full preview

NWPL Semis: #1 Seattle Stars 1, #6 Washington Timbers 0

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It was slightly closer than anybody expected, but the Stars fended off the resurgent Washington Timbers 1-0 to advance to their third straight Northwest Premier League Final and will look to repeat as champions against Capital FC Atletica next weekend.

It was a defensive battle between Stars keeper Drew Moulton and Timbers keeper Jessica Selby except for one moment just before halftime when Justina MacDowell broke the scoreless tie and made it 1-0 for the Stars in the 44th minute.

From there, it was all about the defense. Neither team could break through to score again and the Stars and Moulton held on to that 1-0 lead and advance to another NWPL championship game.

The Washington Timbers wrapped up their season with the extremely close one goal loss after a slow start to the season. They also pulled the first first round upset in league history while advancing to the semifinals after being in the league’s basement for the first six weeks of the season.

Seattle Stars goal: Justina MacDowell (’44)
Washington Timbers goals: None

NWPL Semis: #2 Capital FC Atletica 3, #4 Yakima United 1

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Capital FC Atletica celebrates | Photo: Jeremy McDonald

Capital FC Atletica will make their first appearance in the Northwest Premier League Finals thanks to a 3-1 win over the #4 seed Yakima United on Sunday afternoon in Salem.

Capital started quickly when Choi Ron scored the game’s opening goal just seven minutes into the contest. Yakima tied it up at 1-1 when Delaney Romero scored her second goal of the playoffs off of a pass from Madison Brownell in the 29th minute.

Paige Alexander gave Capital the lead in the 38th minute with an assist from Whitney Pitalo. It would turn out to be the game winning goal with Atletica and goalkeeper Abbey Knoll keeping the Hoppers off of the board the rest of the game. Vicky Cruz finished the game off with a goal in stoppage time of the second half to secure the 3-1 win.

Yakima keeper Brynlee Ward made 10 saves in the loss as Capital held a 12-3 shots on goal advantage. Knoll was only forced to make two saves in the contest.

With the win, Capital moves to their first NWPL championship game and will travel to Kent to face the Seattle Stars, who defeated the Washington Timbers 1-0 on Sunday evening. Game time and date will be announced soon.

Yakima wrapped up their season after their best league finish and their first NWPL playoff win.

READ MORE FROM JMCDONALDMEDIA.COM

Capital FC Atletica goals: Choi Ron (‘7), Paige Alexander (’38), Vicky Cruz (’90+)
Yakima United goal: Delaney Romero (’29)

NWPL 1st Round: Yakima United 2, Twin City Union 1

Yakima-Celebration

Delaney Romero | Photo: Tracie Fowler

In a battle between two teams searching for their first Northwest Premier League playoff win, #4 seed Yakima United scored a late goal to knock off the #5 seed Twin City Union at Yakima Valley College. Natalie Wright scored the game winner in the 88th minute to advance the Hoppers into the semifinals on Wednesday night.

Looking to pull off the second upset of the first round, the Twin City Union jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Desiree Arocha unleashed a shot from just outside the box that beat Yakima keeper Brynlee Ward. It would be the only goal that Ward would allow, making six saves in the win.

Yakima’s Haley Wammock punched home a ball after a scramble in the box following a corner kick to level the score in the 26th minute and the two teams went to the break knotted up 1-1.

It looked like Yakima would have a penalty kick for the lead in the 68th minute after the referee called a handball in the box, but after consulting his assistant, the handball was waved off and the Union dodged a bullet.

Emily Sorensen played a fantastic game in goal for Twin City making seven impressive saves to keep the Union tied for most of the game. But in the 88th minute, Yakima finally broke through. Delaney Romero sprinted past a defender into the box and then delivered a pass across the box to a streaking Wright, who put it past Sorensen to give Yakima the game winning goal.

Yakima United advanced to the semifinals and will travel to Salem to take on Capital FC Atletica on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

Twin City’s season came to an end after their highest regular season finish.

READ MORE FROM THE YAKIMA HERALD

Yakima United goals: Haley Wammock (’26), Natalie Wright (’88)
Twin City Union goal: Desiree Arocha (’12)

NWPL Players Of Week 8: Peters and Selby Capture Final Weekly Honors

Better late than never (the holiday threw a wrench in the process), here are your the players that Northwest Premier League operators and coaches voted as their Players Of The Week for Week 8, the final week of the regular season.

OFFENSIVE: Lauryn Peters scored three goals during week 8, including two goals in their home win against Blackhills FC and another in their regular season finale against Seattle. A dynamic player that creates dangerous opportunities throughout the game, the Western Illinois player returned home and proceeded to lead Yakima United to a 5-1 record after an 0-2 and scoreless start to the season. Peters scored 12 goals in six games capturing her second Golden Boot award.

DEFENSIVE: The Washington Timbers fell 1-0 to Washington Premier in the season finale in Vancouver, but goalkeeper Jessica Selby impressed in the performance, keeping the Timbers in the game, allowing just a goal in the 88th minute of play. The Southern Oregon keeper and Mountain View alum made several good saves including pushing an earlier effort that looked to be heading toward the corner wide to keep the game level. Voting for this award came before her semifinal game, but Selby built on her week 8 performance and turned in a shutout in the semis to knock off the very same WA Premier team.

Other nominees:
Offensive: Braeden Small (Seattle Stars), Stephanie Verdola (Seattle Stars), Alyssa Andrews (Washington Premier)
Defensive: Diyonus Walls (Blackhills FC), Alyssa Konarek (NCW Alliance), Amber DiOrio (Seattle Stars)

NWPL 1st Round: #6 Washington Timbers 1, #3 Washington Premier 0

Jessica Selby | Photo: Alan Moditz

In a rematch of a 1-0 win for Washington Premier just a week earlier, the #6 seed Washington Timbers turned the tables and knocked off #3 WA Premier, 1-0, in the first round of the Northwest Premier League playoffs on Saturday afternoon. It is the first ever upset in the first round of the NWPL playoffs.

Timbers goalkeeper Jessica Selby and WA Premier keeper Kyla Carter kept the game scoreless into the second half until the Timbers finally broke through with a goal by Molly Joyce in the 67th minute. Selby kept WA Premier off the board for the next 23 minutes and the Timbers held on for the 1-0 victory.

The Timbers, Last year’s league runners-up and the 2017 league champions, started the season 0-5-0 but have now won three of their last four games to advance to the semifinals for the third straight season. Because they are the lowest seeded team remaining, they will now travel to face the #1 seed Seattle Stars in the semis next weekend.

The second first round game will be played on Wednesday night when the Twin City Union travel to take on Yakima United at Yakima Valley College at 6:00 PM.