The Western Indoor Soccer League of Washington State wrapped up their final regular season games this weekend. The Tacoma Stars Reserves had a chance to tie up points with season-long league leaders Bellingham United. Tacoma took care of business against the Olympic Force, but Bellingham took out Olympia’s own Oly Town Artesians, solidifying Tacoma’s second place spot in the final standings.
The Snohomish Skyhawks played their final regular season game against Olympic Force last weekend, an unusually high scoring game ending 11-10 in favor of the Force, landing Snohomish with a final spot in 4th place, just enough to be on the positive side of the playoff line, despite a 2-6 record.
Playoffs will be kicking off for the league on February 10th with two single-elimination semifinal games followed by the league final a week later on the 17th. Bellingham United certainly came out swinging this season with a 7-1 record, losing only to the Stars Reserves last weekend. Their bold wins throughout the season has led them to a leading +21 goal differential, making the returning champions great contenders for a repeat championship performance. In a close second, the Tacoma Stars Reserves logged a 6-2 record, showing a much stronger performance at home than they have on the road for the season. The two top teams split their season series, with Bellingham winning 9-7 on December 2 and Tacoma prevailing 6-4 on January 27.
Alex Hernandez of Olympic Force, Bremerton’s indoor squad, nudged out Nick Cashmere of Bellingham United to win the league’s Golden Boot with 18 goals. Cashmere scored four goals Saturday to briefly pull into a 17 goal tie, but Hernandez scored his league-leading 18th against Tacoma.
The Oly Town Artesians finished below the playoff line for the season, but the enthusiasm that was brought into the league by team founder Brandon Sparks this year was truly inspiring. Sparks certainly created a lot of hype with sign making tables, autograph opportunities, and other means of community involvement, making this season truly special for all of Olympia.
This ultimately culminated in Oly Town’s celebration of Austin Kelley, a beloved former player and local who passed away in September of 2016, with a game honoring his memory.
Bellingham will host Snohomish, and Tacoma will greet Olympic on Saturday in the WISL Semifinals. The home teams each went 2-0 in the regular season against their respective opponents.