By Gerald Barnhart/Spokane SC Shadow
A goal in each half propelled the Spokane Shadow Men’s First Team to a 2-0 victory against OSA Seattle FC in the opening game of their Northwest Conference title defense Saturday night at Spokane Falls CC Stadium in front of 523 fans. Defender Ole Cloppenburg scored the opener and Tanner Williams the second on assists from Mike Ramos.
In a close contest featuring a Shadow side still coming together with college players reporting all week, the contest played out fairly evenly with the hosts have a slight edge in the possession on the night. OSA, though created a chance early in the match with a corner in the 22nd minute that new keeper Peter Byrne stretched to knock out of danger.
Six minutes later a short corner from Jesse Retan and Tanner Williams set up a Mike Ramos cross that caught the visitors unaware as the ball soared to the back post and newcomer Ole Cloppenburg nodded it home in the 28th minute.
OSA Seattle would earn several looks at goal later in the half with a pair of shots narrowly missing the right post in the 34th and 41st. A minute before the break Ramos nearly got a goal of his own when he cut inside at the top of the box only to fire right at the keeper.
An equalizer nearly came in first half stoppage time when OSA Seattle saw a well-paced ball deflect off a defender and immediately sent on goal by an attacker on a quick reaction shot. The effort, though, slipped wide right again.
Spokane saw several chances to pull away in the second half with Tanner Williams finding himself with the ball and plenty of space in the 59th and 62nd minutes only to have OSA Seattle keeper Jordan Hadden deny both.
OSA Seattle, though, did not give up and forced some great saves from Peter Byrne. In the 72nd minute a corner from the left was headed off the post. It ricocheted back across the goal mouth, eliciting a dramatic acrobatic save from Byrne to keep it from crossing the line. Several minutes later a lofted shot from distanced forced Byrne to stretch out and tip the ball over the bar to deny another goal.
With four minutes remaining Ramos found Williams for the clincher. He took the ball to the left side endline and looped a ball over the keeper, finding Williams for the point-blank finish.
The match was the first in the conference. PDX FC hosts Crossfire Redmond Sunday. FCM Portland played earlier this week in the U.S. Open Cup First Round, but were eliminated by Cal FC.
Photo Credit: Gerald Barnhart/Spokane SC Shadow