5.19.18 (pictures below)
The Olympic Force men took 13 players to Bellingham last weekend to attempt to do something no Olympic Force team had done before...Win away to Bellingham in Regular League Play.
The game would start with goal keeper Cole Weaver making his Force Debut and with King Lewy on the bench. Watson has been suffering from a contact injury to his hip and would suit as a field player for this trip to Bellingham. At the start of the game, the Force only had Jaisen Zurfluh on the bench with Watson to be used as a sub. It was warm, it was Bellingham, and as always, the task seemed just a bit tougher.
The game started back and forth. Couple chances here and there for each team, and although Bellingham held most of the possession, the Force had the better of the true scoring chances. Marco Lopez and Matt Olson playing in the back with support from Levi Woolley and Keegan Dolan seemed to bottle up everything the Hammers through at them in the first half. What they didn't stop, Cole Weaver did. He made easy work of the first half opportunities for BUFC.
In the 32nd minute, what would end up being the only goal of the game was scored by Joe Sammartino who collected a throw in from Jaisen Zurfluh that beat the whole BUFC defense and JoeSam strolled into the box and slotted the shot into the lower left corner. The Force were ahead 1-0.
More good work by the Force defensively resulted in a greater challenge as Leo Hernandez raced back from midfield to just cut out a breakaway by a BUFC winger but collapsed in the corner with a hamstring injury. He would not return which meant that with about 55 minutes to go, the Force would only have 1 sub. Some dramatics ensued after that and before the halftime which ended with an ejection to a bench player and an additional 5 minutes to play through before the end of the half. The Force escaped relatively easily into half time to catch their breath before the final 45.
The second half had two questions. Would Bellingham's possession and relentless assault on the Force provide them with a goal? Would the Force's counter attacking net them a second...or third and put the game out of reach? In the end, no is the answer to both. The counter attack had 5 good chances to score and ultimately were unable to find the final touch. However, Bellingham being held to a shutout was all about organization, effort, team work, and Cole Weaver. The second half showed a renewed effort by BUFC to get the equalizer. They had an indirect free kick from about 12 yards out and numerous opportunities inside the Force penalty box but were unable to find a way into the net. Weaver tipped a shot over the crossbar from about 15yards out, he slapped a cross away from a waiting BUFC header and in the final minutes saved a shot point blank from off a B'ham attacker's foot to preserve the win.
Goals: Sammartino. Assists: Zurfluh. Shutout: Weaver Cervesa Modelo Man of the Match: Weaver
The next Force home game is this weekend, June 2nd vs WPFC at Gordon Field. Kick off at 5pm!
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