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Shadow hitting midseason stride

Face EPLWA-leading South Sound next

The Shadow are unbeaten in their last six matches, which has surprised everyone but the Spokane players and coaches.

“Surprised? Not really, because I knew that there were quality players here,” first-year coach Chad Brown said this week as the Shadow (5-2-1) prepare for their biggest match of the season so far, Saturday night against Evergreen Premier League leaders South Sound FC of Tacoma (6-0-1).

Many of those players are the product of successful programs at Gonzaga and Whitworth, but because of NCAA rules, weren’t able to practice until the day before their opener on May 3.

“We just had to learn each others’ tendencies and get a few minutes under our belts,” said defender Andrew Newman, who also plays for Gonzaga.

The result: just nine goals given up all season, and just four in their last six matches.

“That’s because the guys have been working hard and buying into our defensive principles,” Brown said.

“That for me has been the biggest joy,” Brown added.

Fans have noticed. Resurrected this year after nine years, the Shadow is averaging 590 fans per game, just 19 behind Bellingham.

“That’s not a surprise either,” Brown said. “I know that’s there’s people in town who appreciate what’s going on.”

Jim Allen