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NWAC HEADLINES

Walla Walla and Bellevue celebrate soccer championships

Tukwila, Wa -- The Walla Walla Warrior women took home its first NWAACC crown in the school's 14-year history of women's soccer while the Bellevue men tied Skagit Valley for most men's soccer titles with its 10th.

The top-ranked Walla Walla Warriors cruised past third-ranked Chemeketa in Saturday's semifinal 4-1 while second-ranked Columbia Basin Hawks took down fourth-ranked Tacoma 3-2 in Saturday's other semifinal.

Columbia Basin's women looked for a repeat of last year's upset win over Walla Walla in the championships - and for 90 minutes it appeared that the Hawks held a slight offensive edge over the favored Warriors.

Overtime was a different story, however. Walla Walla attacked the Columbia Basin goal hard until the 94th minute when a corner kick was launched in front of a crowded Hawk goal box and Warrior sophomore forward Tahlia O'Loughlin collected it and drove in a five yard shot for the 1-0 sudden death OT winner.

The Warrior's title ended a four-year span in which Walla Walla's women's program has had to settle for a runner-up trophy at the championships.

On the men's side, The Bellevue Bulldogs were, perhaps, more of a long shot to get the title than, say top-ranked Chemeketa or second-ranked Walla Walla, but the third-ranked Bulldogs played superb soccer on the weekend. Bellevue defeated fourth-ranked Spokane 3-1 in the opener to earn a berth in the final while Walla Walla edged Chemeketa 1-0 in the other semi-final Saturday.

The Bulldogs took control of the title match in the 24th minute on a goal by Riccardo di Julio and then sealed it with a penalty kick score by Radcliff McDougald in the 55th minute. Walla Walla's Mikey Ramos avoided a Walla Walla shutout with a goal in the closing minutes as Bellevue captured the championship in a 2-1 win.

Walla Walla's Tahlia O'Loughlin was named tournament MVP for her game winner in the women's match and Bellevue keeper Fabian Morales was named the Men's MVP for his stellar performance in goal.

PHOTOS
Bellevue Men with trophy
Walla Walla Women with trophy

 

 


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