YAKIMA – Brett Hite continued his run of form and the Spokane Shadow survived playing the last 20 minutes two men down to pull out a 3-2 soccer victory against the Yakima Reds on Friday.
Hite scored twice – he has five goals in three games – and set up a third as the Shadow improved to 3-0 on the season and remained in line for a U.S. Open Cup berth.
Garth Cummings and Jon Palladino were sent off for Spokane in the second half. Cummings got a straight red card for, in the referee’s view, kicking a player, and Palladino got two yellow cards (which equate to a red). Additional suspensions, and when they occur, are to be determined.
“There’s always drama when we play in Yakima for some reason,” head coach Stuart Saunders said. “I was disappointed when we were up 2-0. We let our emotions get in the way and we had two guys sent off.”
Hite got the game’s opening goal in the 27th minute, collecting a through ball by Mike Herzog and slipping the ball past Yakima and former Shadow keeper Chris Eylander.
Hite doubled the Shadow lead in the 52nd minute. Herzog, who plays for Gonzaga University during the school year, again sent in Hite, and the University High School star beat Eylander in a one-on-one situation.
After Cummings and Palladino left the field and the Shadow were down to nine men, Cummings’ brother, Evan, got what proved to be the game winner in the 74th minute.
Hite got between two defenders, slipped the ball to Evan, who had been making a run through the midfield, and Evan Cummings was able to beat Eylander.
Freddie Mejia (in the 81st minute) and Bolbak Talebi (in the 84th from the penalty spot) got goals for Yakima, but the Shadow were able to hold on.
The Shadow come back to Spokane tonight as the 3-0 Cascade Surge pay a visit to Albi Stadium with a berth in the Open Cup potentially on the line. Kick-off is set for 7.
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