Shadow Pick Up Four NPSL Points on the Road
Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Spokane Shadow Men's First Team continues to find success in the NPSL, earning another four points with a 2-0 win versus PDX FC and a 0-0 draw against FCM Portland on the road this weekend to extend the team's league-leading regular season unbeaten streak.
The team's unbeaten regular season streak now stands at 17 games, which is tied for the longest such streak in the National Premier Soccer League with Minneapolis City. The streak includes the final two matches of 2017, the unbeaten 7-0-5 run last season and the opening three games of this year's campaign, all of which have been shutouts. Minneapolis City's streak started with their final game of 2017 and includes a pair of matches to start this season after going 10-0-4 last year. They are one of the three teams - out of four others - that have carried unbeaten runs into 2019. New York Cosmos B are currently at 16 games and Laredo Heat 11.
The weekend started with a 2-0 result Saturday night against PDX FC in which Jake Levine headed home a service from Mike Rojas in the 18th minute to give the Shadow the lead. A low shot from Tanner Williams to the back post off a ball from Mike Ramos gave the team its second in the 30th minute and from there Peter Byrne kept the hosts at bay with several saves. Jesse Retan also made a critical goal-line clearance off a corner as the team managed the clean sheet the rest of the way in the rain.
Williams now has two goals on the season and Ramos three assists.
The following night the team battled to a scoreless stalemate, registering a third consecutive shutout to start the campaign. The team registered five shutouts last season with only two back-to-back and only two in 2017.
Spokane had a great chance in the 11th minute when a slow build up saw the ball move from the left to the right side, and with a combination of passes and overlaps the play finished with Hakeem Rabiu putting the ball into the middle of the box for defender Bryan Maxwell. A defender, though, rushed the shot, allowing the Portland keeper to recover and make the stop. The ball was still loose and Maxwell poked it to the open net only to see a recovering defender clear it off the line.
In the second half the Shadow had another fantastic chance on a slow-building counter that Mike Ramos collected on the left side and began a switch to the right side that eventually resulted in a shot from Mike Rojas from the top of the box that slipped narrowly wide of the left post.
Bryan Hernandez went the distance in goal for Spokane, earning the shutout despite a couple of late scares. In the 89th minute a cross from the left was nodded off the right post from close range with a bouncing loose ball headed out of danger by a defender. About a minute later a throw-in was headed off the crossbar from close range, though Hernandez's hand was right there as well to preserve the draw had it dipped below.
Also of note from the weekend - Club player Brayden Tucker became the first high school player to not only start for the team in the NPSL, but play a full 90 minutes. He did so for both games.
“Credit to our players who came on this trip and offered a lot of quality and determination during some tough spells. We grabbed a well-deserved point against a nice team in FC Mulhouse as they definitely asked a lot of questions of us. The performances of our two goalkeepers this weekend was a massive highlight, as we have now gone 270 minutes without conceding in the NPSL.”
“I was impressed by a few of our players who started their first games for us this weekend, particularly Zach Bowsky, who is a youth product of the club, and Brayden Tucker, who is still a youth player in the club. The opportunities for these young players who come through our club to work themselves into the men’s first team programming are truly unique, both in our high-end accessibility in our environment but also in terms of the trust and responsibility bestowed upon young players regardless of their age."
Sponsors: The Spokane Shadow Men's First Teams program is proud to be supported by MultiCare Integrated Sports Medicine, adidas, Dairy Queen of Airway Heights, RH Cooke & Associates Real Estate, Prime Lending and Wolff, Hislop & Crockett Attorneys. If you are interested in becoming a supporting sponsor, please contact Nick Piger at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not Too Late!!... Become A Spokane Shadow Supporters Club Member!
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Saturday - Spokane Shadow 2-0 PDX FC
SPO: Jake Levine (Mike Rojas) 18
SPO: Tanner Williams (Mike Ramos) 30
Shutout: Peter Byrne
Spokane: Peter Byrne; Ole Cloppenburg, Mike Ramos (Chase Howat 66), Enzo Nalis (Bryan Maxwell 90), Tanner Williams, Ty Lang, Jake Levine (Hakeem Rabiu 62), Brayden Tucker (Davis Auth 84), Jesse Retan, Tanner French, Mike Rojas
Sunday - Spokane Shadow 0-0 FCM Portland
Shutout: Bryan Hernandez (SPO)
Spokane: Bryan Hernandez; Zach Bowsky, Tanner French, Chase Howat, Ty Lang, Bryan Maxwell (Jesse Retan 30), Hakeem Rabiu (Jake Levine 44), Mike Ramos (Ole Cloppenburg 89), Michael Rojas, Brayden Tucker, Tanner Williams