VANCOUVER, WA—Vancouver Victory FC moved to 3-0-0 in EPLWA league play after a 4-1 victory over visiting Bellingham United (0-0-3) on a warm Mother’s Day at McKenzie Stadium. The Hammers opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Tyler Bjork scored on a put back shot off of a save by V2FC keeper Arne Niermann. Bellingham controlled good portions of the first 25 minutes and pressed the home side on a few occasions. The Victory evened up the score on a penalty kick awarded off of a called hand ball in the box. Timur Zhividze slotted the shot in and the teams were tied going into the break.
V2FC came out in the 2nd half and pressed more. In the 51st minute, Mikhail Doholis broke through the left side of the Hammers defense on a ball slotted through by Zhividze and slipped his shot below BUFC keeper Riley Liddle putting the home side up 2-1. Seventeen minutes later the Victory were awarded a free kick just outside the Bellingham box. Kemar Prince scored in the 68th minute when his free kick deflected off of the wall and hit the net just inside the far post.
|EVERGREEN PREMIER LEAGUE – 2015||Pts||GP||W||L||T||GF||GA||GD|
|VANCOUVER VICTORY FC||9||3||3||0||0||11||4||+7|
|SOUTH SOUND FC||7||3||2||0||1||10||5||+5|
|YAKIMA UNITED FC||4||3||1||1||1||7||5||+2|
|SEATTLE STARS FC||4||3||1||1||1||5||5||0|
|BELLINGHAM UNITED FC||0||3||0||3||0||2||13||-11|
Up 3-1, the home side put the game to rest in the 77th minute with a nice side volley by Alex Segovia from 14 yards out. The goal was set up by Doholis crossing the ball from the right side to Segovia who calmly waited on the ball before using a nice piece of skill to rope the ball in for the 4-1 lead. The win moves the Victory into sole possession of first place in the EPLWA standings with 9 points of 9 possible.
Before the match, team owner Barrett Goddard visited the Hammers locker room to welcome Vancouver native Brendan Quilici who currently plays for the visiting side. “It was great to say hi to Brendan and welcome him home. I remember watching him as a gym rat at his family’s indoor center at 11-12 years old,” reminisced Goddard. Quilici has played for the Hammers the past few years after playing and coaching at Western Washington University.
After the match Victory Head Coach Aaron Lewis was cautiously pleased with his team’s performance especially in the second half, “I was pleased with how our team was able to increase the tempo in the second half. The combination of our depth, and speed of play, seemed to wear down Bellingham as the match went on.”
Assistant Coach Sunny Dulai agreed, “I’m very pleased to see the boys bounce back in a positive way after a slow start and going behind in the match. They showed good character to keep their heads and focus on their style of play.”
The Victory were bolstered by new additions to the roster. Former Portland Timber U23 player/coach Tracy Hasson was added to the roster this week along with three players from Oregon State University: Doholis, Segovia and Zach Striar. The four had an immediate impact on the game. Lewis was also pleased with the new players, “It was great to see our new additions fit in well today and make significant contributions. I’ve been impressed with our players’ ability to blend together in very short order.”
The game was played in front of a Mother’s Day crowd of 360 for V2FC’s league opener. It was also Muchas Gracias Day in honor of the team’s primary sponsor, Muchas Gracias Mexican Food. The team honored Muchas Gracias owner Roldofo Sanchez along with his son Victor Sanchez at halftime by giving the sponsors authentic V2FC team jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.
The Victory travel to Spokane May 16 to take on the league champions in a rematch of their 1-1 draw in Spokane last year.