The Northwest Premier League is cruising towards its first ever playoffs and on Saturday July 1 three clubs earned wins that will help them in their cause to be a part of the post season.
Spokane Shadow 4-0 Twin City Union
SPOKANE, WA— (Shadow release) In the hunt for one of the top two spots and a bye to the postseason semifinals, the Shadow ladies controlled the action from the get-go with plenty of possession and numerous looks on goal, only to see many off the mark, including an effort from former Shadow youth product Callie Best (Gonzaga University) that rang off the left post in the 32nd minute.
Spokane, though, was able to finally break through just before halftime when Shadow youth standout Maddie Haas (Lewiston HS) delivered a perfect corner to the far post that defender and fellow youth star Katie Greene (Mead HS) knocked home in the 43rd minute.
The hosts wasted no time in the second half taking command of the match, getting a second tally less than a minute into the period with a great series of passes that finished with Shadow youth standout Riley Martinson (Deer Park HS) finding Samantha Heilman (Gonzaga U) for the close-range finish. Heilman was not done. She continued to be a threat up top for Spokane, including being in the midst of a flurry of chances off a corner at the goal line in the 50th. In the 81st, a throw-in received by Tiara Pajimola was played forward to Heilman, who beat a defender and charged the endline toward goal, drawing out the goalkeeper and dishing to yet another recent Shadow youth product Havana Johnson (Lake City HS) inside the six for an easy finish.
Less than two minutes later veteran leader Sarah Cox (Gonzaga U) capped the contest with a brilliant free kick from distance, launching a soaring ball in just under the bar from about 38 yards. It was vindication for the midfielder, who put a 25 yard effort from the run of play off the bar just 10 minutes earlier.
Though rarely tested, Portland State-bound Tiegan Horton (NIC / Lake City HS) made several quality saves to preserve the shutout.
SPO: Katie Greene (Maddie Haas) 43
SPO: Samantha Heilman (Riley Martinson) 46
SPO: Havana Johnson (Samantha Heilman) 81
SPO: Sarah Cox 83
Fuerza FC 3-0 Yakima United
EVERETT, WA— Fuerza FC booked a spot in the upcoming playoffs with a shut out win over visiting Yakima United on Saturday at Goddard Stadium. Karin Heisen continued her hot scoring streak with a pair of goals to lead Fuerza. Heisen now has 6 goals on the season, the 3rd-best total in the NPWL. Mona Zaragoza also scored for the home side. Now at 15 standings points, Fuerza will be in the playoffs that start on July 15-16.
Fuerza FC goals: Karin Heisen (2), Mona Zaragoza.
NCW Alliance 0-2 WPSS Shock
WENATCHEE, WA— Washington Premier South Sound got a much-needed win to increase their standings points total to 12 on Saturday at the Apple Bowl. The victory clinched a playoff spot for the Shock. The WPSS goals came from Rachel Wofford (assist to Machaela Graddy) in the 7th minute and Hula Manthei (unassisted) in the 80th minute.
WPSS goals: Rachel Wofford, Hula Manthei.
Five teams have now clinched playoff spots: Seattle, Spokane, Fuerza, Timbers, and Shock. The sixth and final playoff spot is down to Yakima (leading with 10 points and 1 match to play), Olympic Force (9 points with one match to play) and Twin City Union ( 7 points, 1 match to play.)