Shadow First Teams set for Season Openers Sunday in Yakima
EPLWA, NWPL seasons kick off for two-time league champion men & newly-created women’s side



A tale of two stories begins Sunday morning when the Spokane Shadow First Teams step into the bus and embark on their season-opening trip to Yakima for a doubleheader to face the Hoppers at Marquette Stadium. For the men, it’s the start of a campaign to defend back-to-back titles they have captured in the Evergreen Premier League. For the ladies, it’s a new era as they will be the first women’s side to represent the Shadow, which has a lengthy and storied past in men’s soccer. 

Shadow WFT vs Yakima United Hoppers – 2:00

A squad featuring a mix of outstanding Shadow youth prospects and talented university seniors, and experienced post-collegiate players will come together in hopes of starting something special not only for SSC Shadow, but the community.

Related: Recent College standouts among initial Shadow Women’s First Team players [+]   

On Sunday, the league’s only two teams east of the Cascades will square off on Opening Day for the newly-created Northwest Premier League, which was established by EPLWA clubs that wanted a matching women’s league. Will the long and heated Yakima-Spokane rivalry from the men’s side also play out for the women? That is a question that may begin to be answered Sunday. Below are the 15 women and young ladies that will play a role in history. 

Shadow MFT vs Yakima United Hoppers – 4:30 

Spokane-Yakima is a rivalry that dates back to as early as 1996 and the days playing in the USL Premier Development League. The Shadow and Reds, as they were previously known, quickly became heated foes on the pitch and it picked up right where it left off when the two joined EPLWA. Yakima won the first meeting, 3-2 on the road in Week 2 of the 2014 season, but has been winless against the Shadow since. Spokane won 1-0 in the return match at Yakima that season and swept the Hoppers last year 2-0 and 2-1. 

The Shadow also carry into the contest a 10-0-1 unbeaten streak and an impressive road record of 12-0-2, having never lost in two seasons in the league away from home. In season openers, the Shadow are 1-1, having fallen 2-1 at home to Bellingham in their inaugural EPLWA contest and drubbing Wenatchee on the road 8-2 a year ago. 

Re-established now for a few years, the Shadow men are beginning to feel the benefits of developing a group of players with several college seniors players set to play a role as returning players for the team alongside members of a CC Spokane squad that reached the NWAC Final last fall. Among the familiar faces headed to Yakima on Sunday are Dustin Ferger, David Starkovich, Kazuki Tateishi, Sam Engle and Spencer Wolfe. The 

Also on the squad will be former Gonzaga player Zack Hamer, who returns for his second season, and the young attacking duo of JD Hauenstein, the Shadow youth standout and 2015 GSL MVP that led CV to a repeat GSL title this week with wins in two first-place showdowns, and former Shadow youth Jonathan Cortez, who impressed with CC Spokane last fall. Both joined the First Team briefly last year when needed and played a key role in a pair of road wins. 

Jesse Retan, a youth coach for FC Spokane and the new Spokane Sounders premier program run by the Shadow and FC Spokane, is also is back for a second season, serving as veteran leadership on the field. 


Shadow Women’s First Team
Barnes, Kaelyn… Central Valley HS
Bischoff, Katie… Whitworth University / Ferris HS
Cashman, Katie… Eastern Washington University
Crooks, Alisa… Central Valley HS
Crouch, Kalle… Central Valley HS 
Cox, Sarah… Gonzaga University 
Hallman, Averi… University of Memphis / Mt Spokane
Hamby, Jacqueline… Lewis & Clark 
Jordan, Allison… Eastern Oregon University & NMHU / Central Valley HS
Lauer, Jenna… Central Valley HS
Lindsay, Megan… Seattle Pacific / Gonzaga Prep
Luu, Tasha… EWU & CC Spokane / Colville HS
Mykines, Marissa… University of Illinois / Mead HS
Pittman-Thomas… Washington State University / Mt Spokane
Schuder, Crystal… Eastern Oregon University 
Zakrzewski, Kellie… Seattle Pacific University / Cheney HS

Shadow Men’s First Team 
Adame, Ivan… CC Spokane 
Alvarez, Kevin… CC Spokane 
Chertude, Chris… CC Spokane / Peninsula College 
Cimino, Alex… University of Charleston (SC)
Cortez, Jonny… CC Spokane / Moses Lake HS
Davis, Jared… CC Spokane 
Engle, Sam… Whitworth University 
Ferger, Dustin… Gonzaga University / East Valley HS
Hamer, Zack… Gonzaga University / Mead HS
Hauenstein, JD… Central Valley HS
Joy, Sam… University of Charleston (SC)
Kyllo, Kelly… CC Spokane / Lakeside HS
Maldonado, Alec… North Idaho College / Lake City HS
Retan, Jesse… Whitworth University / Cheney HS
Ruano, Raymond… CC Spokane 
Tateishi, Kazuki… CC Spokane 
Starkovich, David… Whitworth University
Wolfe, Spencer… Whitworth University