KENT, WA— Seattle Stars FC scored early and late to take the 2018 NWPL Championship 3-1 over last year’s title holders Washington Timbers.
Ariela Lewis stunned the Timbers and thrilled the Stars’ bench when she rolled a slow shot that somehow managed to curl into the far corner of the Washington goal with just 38 seconds gone in the match. The super-charged start to the match continued when the Timbers got even right away. In the 5th minute they made it 1-1 on a goal from Ellie Schmid.
Photo sequence: #2 Ariela Lewis opens the NWPL Final with a stunning goal just 38 seconds into the match.
The match settled into a normal pace after that with the Stars having the better chances but the Timbers sticking with them on an occasional counter attack. Seattle had a shot hit the post at one point. Then in the 32nd minute they got their eventual match winner when Anna Montemor lofted a long shot across the Washington goal and into the back of the net.
In the second half the Stars continued to create chances. They had a rocket shot cling off of the metal crossbar in one near miss. Other chances came and went. Still it remained 2-1 and Seattle’s edge in play and possession were in danger with just a single goal between the sides.
Photo sequence: Washington Timbers get even right away in the 5th minute on a goal from #7 (being hugged) Ellie Schmid. (David Falk photos)
In the late stages as the Timbers pressed forward Seattle countered and were awarded a penalty kick on a foul judged to be just inside the top of the penalty box. In the 88th minute Cara Maher converted the PK and the Stars had the cushion they were looking for. 2 minutes of added time didn’t change the final score and Head Coach Chris Wells and his team took the 2018 trophy over the club they lost it to in 2017.
Kellyn Green was named Final MVP for her dynamic presence in leading the Stars attack and possession.
Seattle goals: Ariela Lewis 1′, Anna Montemor 32′, Cara Maher (PK) 88′
Washington goals: Ellie Schmid 5′