The mark of a good team is how it responds to adversity.
After suffering through a non-league 4-0 whitewash at the hands of the Central Coast Roadrunners the night before, the Spokane Shadow got back into the win column Saturday at Joe Albi Stadium by stopping the Puget Sound BigFoot 2-1 in a USISL Premier League Northwest Division match.
The victory keeps the Shadow unbeaten (7-0) in league play, while Puget Sound falls to 3-5.
“We had our pride challenged,” said Shadow coach Sean Bushey. “We made a conscious effort to take it to them. We played with more fire and that was the difference.”
Joe Marks’ unassisted goal in the 83rd minute keyed the Shadow victory. Marks’ first shot on goal was deflected, but he kept after it and nailed a shot inside the left post.
“I just kept plugging,” Marks said. “The second time I got the ball I didn’t see much in the middle of the field and I got lucky.”
The Shadow jumped to a 1-0 lead 24 minutes into the game.
Kieran Barton hammered a kick into the right corner of the net from 35 yards out.
Puget Sound knotted the score 11 minutes later. BigFoot forward Todd Simmons took the ball away from Spokane’s Tim Seely near midfield, saw Shadow goalkeeper Josh Fouts was at the top of the 18-yard box and booted it over his head from 45 yards out.
BigFoot coach Jesus Bautista liked what he saw from his team.
“We did exactly what I wanted us to do,” Bautista said. “We kept control of the ball, we hustled, we just didn’t finish on a couple of scoring opportunities.
“They are a good team, but I felt we played right with them. We’re coming along and I think by the end of the year we’ll be an even better team.”
BigFoot keeper Justin Mac kept his team in the game from start to finish.
Spokane had two point-blank chances to take a 2-1 lead just before the half, but Mac slapped them both away. He finished with 10 saves.
“We are very lucky to have Justin on our team,” said Bautista. “In our shootout win over Cascade (Friday night) he stopped all five shots. He gives us a chance to win every night.”
According to Bushey, the little things were there for the Shadow.
“Tonight we won the ball,” he said. “And we won the knockdowns that allowed us to keep the ball. (Tonight) the fans saw the real Shadow.”
Spokane 2, Puget Sound 1
First half-1, Spokane, Barton 24:00. 2, Puget Sound, Simmons 35:00. Second half-3, Spokane, Marks 83:00.
Shots on goal- Puget Sound 8, Spokane 10. Saves-Puget Sound, Mac 10. Spokane, Fouts 4.