Submitted by Oly Town Artesians
Neil Boyal converted a penalty kick in the 69th minute and the Oly Town Artesians held off a furious attack by the Grays Harbor Gulls to take a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the Washington State Super Cup on a windy Wednesday night at Black Hills High School. With the win, the Artesians advanced to the first Super Cup championship game to be played on Friday, July 12 at the Washington Premier Complex in Puyallup.
The Artesians held most of the possession over the first 45 minutes and had numerous chances during the first half but three of the four Oly Town shots on goal were right into the arms of Gulls goalkeeper Alexis Garcia and the two teams went to the locker room scoreless.
The Gulls continued to dodge good opportunities for the Artesians until Tino Pantaleon danced along the end line and tried to deliver a centering pass. Unfortunately for the Gulls, the ball caught the arm of their defender and the referee whistled them for a hand ball in the box. Neil Boyal stepped up and calmly drilled the shot into the corner to give Oly a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute.
After that, it was hold on time for the Artesians. Chasing a one goal deficit, Grays Harbor attempted to bomb balls over the top and find Juanito Lopez and had success putting extra pressure on the Artesians’ backline of Brandon Kam, Nate Boatright, Collin LaBranche and Esau Vazquez. The Gulls best opportunity came in stoppage time on a wild sequence in which goalkeeper Sawyer Price came well off his line and ended up 25 yards out, but the Gulls could not get a shot past the last line of defenders and eventually ran out of time on their Cup run.
The Artesians will face either Nido Aguila Club America Seattle or Kirkland FC in the finals on July 12. Their semfinal game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 2 at SERA in Tacoma.
After the thrilling Super Cup win, the Artesians get a weekend off before travelling to Yakima and Seattle on the June 29 and 30. The next home Evergreen Premier League game is on Saturday, July 6 when the Tri-Cities Alliance hit the capital city. It’s a 6:00 p.m. first kick and tickets are available now at www.olytownfc.com/tickets.