June 28, 2009 / Curtis HS Stadium (Tacoma Tide 2-0 Spokane Spiders)
The Tacoma Tide recorded 26 shots on goal Sunday afternoon against the Spokane Spiders. That stat alone tells the story of a dominating performance of the Tide’s Washington rivals. The Tacoma Tide kept possession and created chance after chance against a Spiders team that was missing players due to injuries and other reasons. The Spiders’ only substitute for this game was their player/coach, Jake Moug who was a scratch for the Tide game and available for emergency needs only. Combine that with the fact that Spokane played Kitsap last night and Sunday was a hot day in the sun, and it was likely to yield a one sided game.
Considering the number of shots and chance that the Tide created, they’ll be disappointed that the win was not around 5 or 6 to none. That said, this victory marks the first shutout earned by the Tide since their opening match of the 2009 campaign back on May 13 @ the Seattle Wolves. Despite 9 shots in the first half, the Tide and Spiders went in for halftime refreshments with a scoreless tie. Finally, in the 53rd minute, a set piece left defenders still near the Spokane goal, and Tucker Maxwell was able to direct home his first goal of the year. The goal came off a Rory Agu pass from the wing and into a cluster of players that included Maxwell. It seemed like the goal would open up the floodgates on a Spiders team that appeared exhausted, but instead they held firm and the Tide couldn’t ensure the victory.
Spokane had very few chances in the match, so when they drew a set piece on the outside of the Tacoma area in the last 10 minutes of the game, it looked vital. The Tide were able to block the shot as well as the ensuing rebound, and clear their defensive third of the field. Cam Vickers was excellent on the right wing all afternoon, and many of the 26 shots toward the Spokane goal were created from his side. The goal that put the match on ice also came from his side of the field. Nick Besagno made his way into the box and got onto a bouncing through ball. Besagno was able to beat goalkeeper, Eric Kuramura, to the pass and flick it over his head. The ball could have been going into the far corner of the net, but not taking any chances on the Besagno touch, Rory Agu pushed it over the line. It was probably a smart move from the Tide All-Time leading goal scores as the Tide had hit the bar 5 times already in the game.
The win for the Tide moves them 6 points behind 4th place and 7 points behind 3rd in the standings. Cascade has 22 points, Seattle has 23, and the Tide have 16. Third place qualifies that team for a playoff to enter the Western Conference Playoffs. The Oregon based team and the Seattle Wolves both have a game in hand on the Tide after Sunday. The Tide’s next match is back at Curtis HS Stadium on July 10. Tacoma will host the Abbotsford Mariners. For tickets, see TacomaTideSports.com.