For 73 minutes Friday night, the Spokane Shadow were frustrated at Burlington-Edison High School.
Frustrated by Bellingham’s clutch-and-grab defense, Orcas keeper Travis Enslow’s work in goal and a shorter, narrower field.
But during a 15-minute span in the game’s final 17 minutes, the Shadow erupted for three goals and a come-from-behind 3-1 victory that kept them entrenched in first place in the Northwest Division of the USISL Premier League.
Spokane will put its unbeaten records (3-0 league, 4-0 overall) on the line again tonight when the Shadow entertain the Cascade Surge at 7:05 in Albi Stadium.
The Shadow defeated the Surge 3-2 in Salem, Ore., on May 2.
After a scoreless first half, when Bellingham pinched off Spokane’s best rushes or Enslow turned aside their best shots, the Orcas struck 4 minutes into the second half.
An unmarked Jim Morton took a Jesus Fuentes crossing pass in the Spokane goal box and tapped it past Shadow keeper Josh Fouts.
But the Shadow, attacking up the wings, started turning the momemtum. From the time Zane Higgins’ shot at the 65-minute mark was tipped over the net by Enslow, Spokane was in control.
Chad Brown finished off a crisp passing series that included Tim Seely, Dave Berto and Higgins with his first goal of the season at 73:15 to tie it.
Six and a half minutes later, Berto dropped a header at Seely’s feet and the 5-foot-10 midfielder rammed home the winning goal.
Less than 9 minutes after that, Matt Zlateff slipped a 20-yard pass to a sprinting Berto on the right wing and he ran past a defender before driving the ball into the net.
Shadow 3, Orcas 1
First half- None. Second half- 1, Bellingham, Morton (Fuentes), 49:00. 2, Spokane, Brown (Seely), 73:15. 3, Spokane, Seely (Berto), 79:45. 4, Spokane, Berto (Zlateff), 88:00.
Shots on goal-Spokane 12, Bellingham 8. Saves - Fouts, Spokane, 5. Enslow, Bellingham, 6.