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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

‘Unfit’ Fauske gives Yakima fits

J.D. Larson Correspondent

Needing wins to maintain any thoughts of keeping first-pace Cascade in view, the Spokane Shadow were 6 minutes away from a demoralizing scoreless tie Saturday night.

It turns out all they needed was an out-of-shape player who wasn’t supposed to be in the game.

Elliot Fauske’s 84th-minute goal lifted the Shadow to a 1-0 soccer win over the Yakima Reds in front of 764 fans at Joe Albi Stadium.

Spokane (6-4-0) maintained second place in the Premier Development League’s Northwest Division with 18 points, four behind first-place Cascade, which has played two fewer games than the Shadow.

Spokane’s goal came after left wing Ben Funkhouser forced a corner kick with pressure down the left flank.

Yakima (4-4-2, 14 points) put a head on Alex Megson’s corner kick, but the Reds, playing a man down, had nobody outside the penalty box near Fauske.

Fauske’s half-volley bounced a couple of times through the pile in front of the net and got past Yakima goalkeeper Jacob Rhoads for the winner.

“When the ball comes out and there’s a group of people in front of the goalkeeper, there’s a high percentage it will slip by, because the line of vision is usually impaired,” said Fauske, a Mead graduate who played at Seattle University.

“I was just trying to hit it through the group, because if it gets through, it’s very difficult for the keeper to handle.”

Shadow head coach Kieran Barton had planned on playing Fauske – only in his second game with Spokane this year – for about 25 minutes after he came on as a substitute at halftime.

“We’d really only been playing him a half because he claims he’s not fit,” Barton said. “It’s all relative because he’s one of these guys whose got a motor that just runs.”

Spokane played the final 32 minutes with a man advantage after Yakima’s Chris Hodges earned his second yellow card by holding Dustin Allbery from behind as the Shadow season scoring leader advanced on the goal.

Despite the extra man and five corner kicks during those 32 minutes, the Shadow could not break through until Fauske did.

“A lot of times everybody assumes it should be easy because you’ve got an extra man,” Barton said. “It’s hard to break them down. For us, the corner kicks are all opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them tonight, but one goal was enough.”

Yakima should have been on top by a goal in the first half when Austin Washington coughed up the ball deep in Spokane territory, and Mikel Schafer went one-on-one with Shadow goalie Dade Smith. Schafer beat Smith, but couldn’t cut the ball enough to find the net, instead bouncing the ball harmlessly off the side netting.

“They just tend to dump long balls and wait for you to make a mistake – and we did,” Barton said. … “These guys had a glorious opportunity, and someone was smiling on us.”

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