On the third match day for the men’s and women’s squads of Oly Town FC last weekend, both teams got favorable results in the USL2 and the USL W League.
The Artesian USL2 Team survived an entertaining 6-5 football madness against United PDX FC at Oregon Episcopal Stadium last Friday, May 26.
The Oly Town Ladies battled back for a 2-2 stalemate at home against United PDX ladies last Saturday, May 27.
Oly Town FC survived a tight scoreline slugfest against United PDX at Oregon last Friday, as they almost blew an early lead but held on just enough to finish a 6-5 victory in a match raining with goals as well as yellow and red cards in what could be an early contender for match of the season in the USL 2 Northwest Division Group stage.
Gil de la Luz, an Oly Town FC mainstay who also played with the Tacoma Stars, was the spark of this gritty attacking front as he contributed a hat trick of goals vital for the three points for the Artesians.
The Artesians started well early in the first half despite the hosts, who just came off a 10-1 blowout win against cross-town rivals PDX FC last week, trying to press high early. De la Luz opened the scoring in the 6th minute after receiving a lovely long ball from the backline and squaring the opposite goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Less than three minutes later, Richy Lapointe shot a header received from a corner delivery from Allen Escalante to double their lead in under ten minutes of action.
It could have been much harder for the Artesians later except for another corner from Escalante, but this time from a low cross, found Jason Fairhurst, one of Oly Town’s longest-serving players in his 15th USL2 appearance, tapping in for goal number three for Oly Town FC just under 20 minutes of play.
With a commanding 3-0 lead, Oly Town FC tried to hold on to the lead before the break as they gave away cheap fouls and free kicks to the hosts. The breakthrough finally came for United PDX in the 37th minute when the Oly Town defense fell short on the buildup to defend a simple tap-in from Ben Augee.
Every mistake in the Oly Town FC defense was punished by the aggressive press by the hosts, and it all paid off after a curling free kick from Tyler Hardin in the 42nd minute cut the Oly Town lead to only one right before the halftime break, 3-2.
With the momentum from their late goals on the hosts, a handball was called for Oly Town in the 51st minute and the awarded penalty was converted by Marios Andreau for the equalizer. More bad luck came for Oly Town as their rough defending has given away lots of set pieces for the hosts and it gave way for them to finally take the lead after a goal from a set piece to reverse the tides at 4-3 United PDX lead at 62 minutes of action.
It could have been blown for Oly Town FC (maybe not after what Arsenal did in the prem this season) but a chance for a quick response was gifted to the Artesians right after the restart as a brash tackle on the Oly Town box was called for a clear penalty, that was converted by de la Luz from the spot. Scores are tied again at 4-4 just three minutes after the hosts lead.
Another plot twist in this already mad game came in the 69th minute after Escalante was sent off after a late tackle, leaving Oly Town at ten men down. The hosts capitalized on this extra man advantage with another goal to make it 5-4 in the 75th minute.
But the resilient Oly Town FC proved that it ain’t over until the final whistle was blown as two quick-fire goals in the 83rd and 86th minute sealed this future classic of a game in favor of the Artesians despite being down to ten men.
Another long ball was received beautifully by de la Luz as he dribbled it past the opposition goalkeeper to make it 5-5 at the 83rd and complete his hat trick. Aiming for the win and only a win, Oly Town quickly restarted and a quick one-touch passing rondo on the left flank led to the winning goal by Trevor Thompson. Fortunately, for the hearts of the visiting Oly Town fans, this lead has been held until the final whistle.
“The game certainly was entertaining from an outside perspective,” said USL2 Artesian Coach Liviu Bird. “We were happy to end up with the win and with the type of character we showed to come from behind twice and continue the attack and score goals while down to 10 men.”
The Oly Town lads will return home for the next fixture as part of another doubleheader at the South Sound Stadium on Sunday, June 4, to host a rematch with United PDX at 4 p.m. kickoff.
After two consecutive wins in their first season in the USL W League, Oly Town FC Women tied with fellow league newcomers United PDX Women 2-2 in front of hundreds of Artesian supporters at the South Sound Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Despite being newcomers to the league, both teams displayed grit and composure on the ball, with the best chance of the half being an 18-yard screamer from Oly Town’s Ava Uribe just glancing through the right side of the goal, but nothing can separate these two teams that aimed to impress in their inaugural seasons as the first half ended goalless.
The deadlock was finally broken at the 55th minute as Sydney Stephens received an open header from a quick corner kick delivery from Mariah Lee to give Oly Town the lead at 1-0.
A quick response from that goal dealt pressure for Oly Town FC as PDX United equalized after 5 minutes with a long-range screamer from Taylor Krueger got past Kat Asman on goal as they equalize 1-1 60 minutes in. PDX United take the lead later at 72’ as Elle Unflat received a cross from the right flank and tapped it in the back of the net.
Despite trailing, the Lady Artesians pressed on the offense gear and continued to press high and overload their box to hunt for an equalizing goal; that turned out to be effective as they found their answer in the 80th minute from Alexis Washington blasting the ball to the net from a low cross to continue the ladies’ unbeaten campaign in the league (2-1-0 win-draw-loss record).
“They (United PDX) have great players and a very experienced coaching staff that makes them a special side” said USL Women’s Coach Chris Wells. “Although we wanted to win, our players gained valuable development by having the opportunity to play in that game.”
The Oly Town FC Women have a rematch set with United PDX as they travel to Portland on Thursday, June 1. They will then return home Sunday, June 4, for a 1 p.m. kickoff against CFC Atletica.
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