December 9th, 2017
The Force knew they had a tough schedule before the season even started. The release of the WISL schedule showed the Force to play 3 of their first 4 games against past WISL Champions Bellingham United and Tacoma Stars Reserves and 2 of those 3 were on the road. Since the resurrection of the Force, the squad had never lost two games in a row. So history was made, and not in a positive way when they dropped the first game 5-3 to TSR and then lost a heartbreaker 10-9 the following week at home to Bellingham.
With the Oly Town Artesians coming into town last weekend, the Force needed to get right, and in a hurry in order to maintain a perfect record of reaching the Finals at the end of the season. Back from college, the Force were able to add in some extra youth and speed through PLU players Bennett Bugbee, Joe Sammartino and Levi Woolley and added a little additional experience to the mix with Alhassan Awudu getting his first action of the season. Come to find out, this would help fill the gaps in the roster left by Kevin Flavin (suspension due to accumulation vs Bellingham) and Victor Kelmel.
The first half of the game was a little shaky. The Force had some great chances on goal but were unable to finish. This left the door open and Oly Town jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter before goals from Colin Ralston and David Meherg less than a minute apart, put the teams knotted at two to end the first quarter. In the second quarter, in less than a minute, Marco Lopez would bash a goal on an assist from Izzy De Luna, Izzy's first of 5 assists on the night. Two minutes later, Alex Hernandez increased the lead with his first goal of the evening. In the final 4 minutes of the half, Oly Town picked up some momentum scoring 2 goals in quick succession before Hernandez would notch his second of the game. In the final minute however, Oly Town was able to equalize and go into halftime tied 5-5.
Everything had gone ok, but there was something missing of the old spark. The magic that has followed this team over the last 3+ seasons. A feel that all was well, despite the score, they would always come through in the end. The Force may have found it. There was a moment in the third quarter where the fans at Olympic Sports Center, the players in Blue on the field, felt that magic race back onto the field. It was a quick moment, a delicate moment, a moment of pure brilliance and it was provided by a man that had to change positions in order to keep playing. Legendary former keeper and now captain and forward, David Meherg, showed everyone what was possible when that Force magic is there. Jordan Kollars tried to hit a cross to the back post for a charging Colin Ralston. The Artesian's keeper thought that was where the ball was going to go as well. Meherg, with his back to goal, a defender holding him tight, decided to change that. He reached up with his right foot, head high and back and to the side of his body and gently redirected the ball in a little chip right over the diving Artesian keeper. This goal will obviously be a candidate for Goal of the Year when it's all said and done.
From the moment that goal was scored, everything changed. The Force would go on to score 8 more goals while only allowing 3 in route to a 14-8 victory, and killing off 2 more penalties. The Force will now travel up to Bellingham and try to level their record before the holiday break.
Goals: Ralston, Hernandez - 3; Awudu, D Meherg - 2; Lopez, Potts, Aceves - 1 (1 Own goal on Oly Town)
Assists: De Luna - 5; Kollars - 2; Lopez, Aceves, Prevost, Salveson - 1
Co-Cervesa Modelo Man of the Match - Alex Hernandez & Izzy De Luna
WISL Defensive Player of the Week - Izzy De Luna