Force Held Back By Bellingham

The Olympic Force took on Bellingham on Saturday at South Kitsap High School Stadium in a battle to see who would stay in the top 3 of the standings. 

The game got off to a rough start when Bellingham came out on fire and scored 7 minutes into the match.  Down 1-0 the boys fought hard and had a few great chances and took shots at a 3:1 clip the rest of the half but were unable to get them in the net.  The Bellingham keeper and defenders seemed to get a piece of every strike the Force put on target.  It looked like the score would hold going into halftime until a wide player for Bellingham tried to play in a cross into the box.  He missed his target by a good 15 yards and was visibly frustrated with the effort until he realized that the wayward strike wasn't going to clear the goal and managed to drop into the top left corner and halftime brought about 2-0.

It was that kind of day for the Force.  The second half brought about another Bellingham goal by way of a penalty in the first 5 minutes of the second half and the Force were facing a mountain to climb.  A mountain they tried desperately to climb.  They battled, worked hard and the final product just wouldn't work out for them.  Finally, in the 75th minute, it seemed something was finally going to go right for a change.  Midfielder Diego Aceves gets ripped to the ground in the box and a penalty is given.  What happened next, I had never actually seen before.  Aceves strides to the ball to take the penalty, just as he goes to strike it, he loses his footing and slips.  He managed to keep his focus on the ball and still gets it to slide in as the keeper dove the wrong way.  Then the goal was disallowed.  Clarification from the officials following the game said that when Aceves slipped, he made contact with the ball with his right foot before striking it with his left.  This meant that he touched it twice and the goal was waved off.

As if to just add insult to injury, Bellingham would tack on one more goal 5 minutes later to put the game to rest.  This loss moves the men's team to 5th in the table and while the title is still visible from where they sit, they will need the league parody to continue if they hope to have a chance.  The men will travel to Spokane on Sunday July 2nd before returning home to play host to Oly Town Artesians on July 9th.  The game July 9th is scheduled to kick off at 4:45pm at Gordon Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and is a part of the Tracyton SC Benefit weekend and includes a camp with the Force Development Program.  You can get more information on the camp here, and you can get game tickets here.