PHOTO GALLERY: Stars Repeat As NWPL Champions

IMG_1226

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

7-21-4-CAP-SEA

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

67167060_921980638136027_928251602144329728_n

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

dsc_1624

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.

Week 8: Twin City Claims 5th, Seattle Wins The Regular Season

65992446_912974485703309_5212888664278827008_n

Your 2019 NWPL Regular Season Champions

Every game mattered in the grand scheme of things in week eight of the 2019 Northwest Premier League season and the Twin City Union pulled out what proved to be the biggest win, jumping over the Washington Timbers and Oly-Pen Force to claim the 5th seed in the playoffs. Seattle took care of business to win the regular season title and Lauryn Peters scored three times to take the league’s Golden Boot award with 12 goals.

Here are the recaps from each game in the last week of the regular season…


Yakima United 3, Blackhills FC 1

Lauryn Peters continued her fantastic season leading Yakima United to their fifth win of the season, knocking off Blackhills 3-1. Peters scored twice, in the 30th and 31st minutes, but the Hoppers led Blackhills by just one until Delaney Romero gave them an insurance goal in the 82nd minute. Jocelyn Charette scored the lone goal for Blackhills who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. For Peters, it was her 10th and 11th goals of the season.

Yakima United goals: Lauryn Peters (’30 & ’31), Delaney Romero (’82)
Blackhills FC goal: Jocelyn Charette (’37)


Twin City Union 4, Oly-Pen Force 1

In a win or go home game for both teams, the Twin City Union took care of business on their home field knocking the Oly-Pen Force out of playoff position with a 4-1 win. TCU took an early 2-0 lead thanks to an Oly-Pen own goal and Jolene Kvinsland’s goal in the 11th minute. They would add goals by Natalie Brown and Madison early to take a 4-0 lead before the Force finally got on the board in the 87th. Emily Sorenson made eight saves in goal for the Union, who jumped up to the fifth spot with the win and finished the regular season at 2-5-1.

Twin City Union goals: Oly-Pen own goal (‘5), Jolene Kvinsland (’11), Natalie Brown (’52), Madison Early (’84)
Oly-Pen Force goal: Celina Madrid (’87)


Seattle Stars 4, NCW Alliance 0

Needing a win to take first in the NWPL’s regular season, the Stars struck early and often on Saturday in a 4-0 win over the NCW Alliance. Breanna Strauss scored in the 2nd minute and Rita Okoro added another in the 8th to make it 2-0. Okoro would add to her total near the end of the first half and Chloe Lamenzo closed out the scoring in the 57th. Lee Erickson earned the shutout in goals for Seattle. The Stars improved to 7-0-0 while NCW Alliance were eliminated from playoff contention and finished the season at 1-7-1.

Seattle Stars goals: Breanna Strauss (‘2), Rita Okoro (‘8 & ’43), Chloe Lamenzo (’57)
NCW Alliance goals: None


Seattle Stars 6, Yakima United 1

On Sunday, the Stars exploded for six goals including braces by Stephanie Verdola and Emily Bunnell to remain undefeated in the regular season, moving to 8-0-0. Sydney Carr started the scoring in the 16th minute but the game was close until Verdola scored in the 42nd and 45th to make it 3-0. Bunnell made it 4-0 in the 53rd before Yakima got on the board with a goal by Lauryn Peters – her 12th of the season – in the 62nd. Bunnell would add one more and Braeden Small finished it off in the 90th minute. Yakima fell to 5-3-0 this season and finishing fourth in the regular season and will host a playoff game next week.

Seattle Stars goals: Stephanie Verdola (’42 & ’45), Emily Bunnell (’53 & ’86), Sydney Carr (’16), Braeden Small (’90)
Yakima United goal: Lauryn Peters (’62)


Washington Premier 1, Washington Timbers 0

It was a defensive battle for two teams vying for playoff seeding until Alyssa Andrews finally broke through in the 88th minute and Washington Premier won their sixth game of the season with a 1-0 over the Washington Timbers. Jessica Selby made seven saves in goal for the Timbers but was bested by just that one goal and Kyla Carter’s eight saves. The Timbers had already secured the 6th seed in the playoffs and finished the regular season at 2-6-0

Washington Premier goal: Alyssa Andrews (’88)
Washington Timbers goals: None