Displaying one of their best defensive performances this season, Oly Town FC trounced the midtable Snohomish County FC for the first time away from home, 8-2, as the Artesians clinched a playoff berth in the ongoing 2022-23 Western Indoor Soccer League at the Snohomish Sports Dome Saturday night, January 28.
Joe Sammartino led Oly Town in the scoring board as he had two goals and one assist and Mitchell Balmer added two goals of his own. Isaiah Damschen was composed as goalkeeper, conceding only two in one heck of a goalkeeping performance for Oly Town.
It was an odd atmosphere at the Sports Dome as the traveling Oly Town fans, at some point outcheered the Steelheads support, making the away game very much feel like a “home” environment. The fans were mostly composed of family and friends of Snohomish local and last match’s six-goal record-breaker Jason Fairhurst, and they dominated the stands.
With that motivation, Oly Town got on a commanding lead less than a minute into kickoff, with the opening goal coming from Balmer, while Rainier Schlekewey added another one minute later as the first quarter ended at 2-0.
The Oly Town barrage continued as they extended their lead to 4 goals, including the first of Sammartino’s two goals, with the Steelheads finding it hard to stifle the Artesian defense from defensive stops by Josh Dube and Schlekewey, before they finally got one back from Andrew Escalante, as it ended 4-1 with Oly Town comfortably leading at halftime.
Isaiah Damschen, who has been assertive in competing as the starting goalkeeper in the whole Oly Town league campaign along with club legend Matt Stalnik, has been phenomenal the whole match, especially in the second half, as the Artesians relied on Damschen between the gates to make cat-like saves while maintaining great defensive positioning the whole match, anchoring the defense.
They only allowed one more goal in the second half, thanks to Snohomish veteran Bryan Fakkema, as Oly Town FC, who has been more of an attack-oriented team the whole season, produced one of the best goalkeeping and defensive showings in Oly Town Arena history.
This big win sealed the deal for the Artesians to barge on to the playoffs, improving to a 7-1-1 win-loss-draw record as they continue to flirt for a top-spot finish.
Speaking of the top spot, the next fixture would be the big one, as the top 2 teams of the league will face for the first time this season. Oly Town FC will host the undefeated Tacoma Stars Reserves, in what would be considered the biggest test for the Artesians so far, at the Evergreen State College Pavilion on February 4th at 6 p.m. kickoff.
Also on that game, Willie Spurr, who played for Oly Town between 2014-2018, is planned to be inducted into the Oly Town Hall of Legends as one of the best Artesians to play. In his successful career in Olympia, he had 30 career goals, with one season where he was on fire and scored 14 goals. This induction would be a proper send-off for the Oly Town legend, who will then step up to play professional indoor football in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).
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